What can I say to you in four breaths?

Where is the bush the sea the dream you / sold to me

Where is the bush the sea the dream you sold
to me the cook the crook the pet that smile
poor hearts would bleat the cat you wish for
but instead get me the log the lake the quake
of earth

The feast on me when you were prey and I
was crack in floor the dirt each grain a wary
shame of lonely crows a group of some
far-away bird the bird I was for you the girl
the green the catch the thing that made you
leave the source the mask the crash

The shore you swore just I could swim to if I
was could be should beam but you could not
be if I was creek cream and light more laugh
than cry more X X less X Y less phrase more word more
milk love and curl I am not what
you could love but I am me

I wish that meant more than I feel like it does I
wish I could write words to you and every
page not read like the truth but I am no lie all
mine no you just I and I want what I don’t

About the author

KB Brookins is a Black queer and trans writer, cultural worker, and installation artist from Texas. KB’s chapbook How To Identify Yourself with a Wound won the Saguaro Poetry Prize, a Writer’s League of Texas Discovery Prize, and an ALA Stonewall Honour Book Award. Their debut poetry collection Freedom House was called “urgent and timely” by Vogue and won the ALA Barbara Gittings Literature Award for Poetry. KB’s debut memoir Pretty releases on May 28, 2024 with Alfred A. Knopf. Follow them online at @earthtokb.