Fuck the presentation, I want the food to taste good. Like chopped
slop covered in barbecue sauce brisket. Like mama’s wing flings
on top of greasy paper towels with a side of somewhat burnt
sweet potatoes. I want the meal to give me -itis I can feel in my tongue;
tums needed to hush up the organs telling me I’ve made mistakes today.
None of it was a mistake, really. The only thing I regret is not asking
for extra hot sauce, extra communion with my niggas over hot plates
while barbed off in backyards with an uncle that has bunions on his toes
hollering, CAN YOU HEAR ME under the Bengay. Today, I hear you auntie.
Swearing I forgot to take the chicken out; making chitlins in a room of people
with my blood or at least best interest in their hearts. I say your name,
spaghetti & fish after a friend has went to pasture. I say your name as I look
at the coffee shop menu, wondering what has a sprinkle of spirit in it.
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, and a 2021 PEN America Emerging Voices fellow. Follow them online at @earthtokb.