“Break up with your gender, I’m bored” and “Shot Number 1”

Break up with your gender, I’m bored
after The Real Housewives of Atlanta

We could start this letter with the audacity.
How you ignore the growth of flesh on your chest & how
the sight of them brings you to tears like Kandi
in seasons 2-11. How they carry the world
like Kenya Moore carried season 8 of Real Housewives
& how I hate them just as much as everyone hates Kenya
for what she did to Phaedra (in season 6

exclusively). How they sway in your cerebrum & you get
nauseous with shame. How un-diligence leads to ignorance;
your back, stressed from sleeping in binders for 3 days
in a row. It’s time, KB. Break up with your gender like Nene
broke up with Greg until he got his shit together in season 5.
What if top surgery changes nothing; what if the nipples
don’t heal properly? What will become of you then?

Loyalty is not gender’s language, like it isn’t
the language of Nene in seasons 1-12. I want more
for you, KB; I want more for love; this has never been it.
After this, you’ll be free (like Phaedra from her season
10 contract). You won’t have to breathe & feel
everything tonight. You’ll feel nothing, and nothing
is the true meaning of gender, isn’t it?


Shot Number 1

I feel my most alive when I’m the bearer of my own pain. When I shift,
squirm, and brace; when I plunge it in the gum of me to feel.

I pass over my ID. I get
a mirror into what calls itself
controlled. Joy lives in such a little container. It sticks into
my muscle, emits a sweet, oily lifeline. I breathe

into its rubber. I will not die, I promise you this. Even if the bruise
turns blue and creates a pretty palace on my skin, on the other side
of that flesh wall I am becoming my own best man. Bring in the broom
and the bride. Let the church bells breathe in liberty.


I’m like how did I miss this Toni is my girl I remember all / them car rides when my mother played the hell out of Toni’s debut album in 93’


i am descendant from women who greet death like brunch. /
i do not know if this is bravery or foolishness.