When a fight is happening, I run towards it

After Crissle


I really like the performance of mess. Using your outside voice
to insult some nigga you likely don’t know well; communicating
badly with a lover who made you think you were The Only One.

I think that tea is best served iced & sweet
at the courtyard at our underfunded highschool,
or the lunchroom that holds all us horned-up kids

& all the laughs that dance through the limbs of our four walls.
The dance battle at 2013 prom between Chris, Ariel & Donyae
in a weird but not-weird-at-all way to crown the town

’s top gay. Even now, I come to the alleyways
we used to squab at & fall to my knees, hoping
all the boys I once watched win a battle, through words

or ash-to-Black fists, are having a glorious time in heaven.

KB Brookins is a poet, essayist, and cultural worker from Texas. They are the author of How To Identify Yourself with a Wound (Kallisto Gaia Press, 2022) and Freedom House (Deep Vellum Publishing, 2023). Follow them online at @earthtokb.

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