After Patti LaBelle’s appearance on the Tyra Banks Show
The poison ivy leading to a gentrified beer garden. The inkling of dignity I feel when I don’t let a white woman patronize me. Patti had the right idea; Why did you think I would eat paper? and Why do you think less of me? are inches away from sameness. The message in don’t try me is not today or any day; or is it we need an intervention. Invite your mother, her mother, and the fathers that whittled you in this boldness. Tell them all that something isn’t okay. Bring snacks & make an aftercare plan for harm that extends centuries. These are the things I think about, friend. My mind is saying jigs have been up—it’s time up with thinking I’m anything less & you are everything personified, to aspire to, til death do us & everything else apart. Til every death is inevitable except what made you. I’m tired of you & your people asking me this question. I want the beer garden to be mundane, just like a beer garden, & for my thoughts to be sprinkles of whatever you people think of when thinking can be luxuries taken.
KB is a Black queer nonbinary miracle. They are the author of the chapbook HOW TO IDENTIFY YOURSELF WITH A WOUND (Kallisto Gaia Press, 2022), winner of the 2021 Saguaro Poetry Prize. They are a 2021 PEN America Emerging Voices fellow. Follow them online at @earthtokb.
image: MM Kaufman