Involuntary Exits

— for Kerrice Lewis

I am a child of wayward fruit
trying to touch a violence—
its bruised shape, a mirror
of my own dark face & hers.

Another black butch has been
left to die—by fire this time
& I pray to become smoke:
to suffocate or signal

someone’s boyish child gone
missing, left to rot in that low
lit alley where it is said dykes

don’t die. I chew on that lye
become full of its poison
& spit until the ground opens

humming my name. Who comes
for us black bois, us bulldykes,
bludgeoned into the earth by familiar

men gone ravenous behind something
about our sex? The wet slit between our
legs a way station for involuntary exits
from the body—the splintered crackle
of bone, its backward muscle music,
its queer gospel, some man’s killing anger?