after Jonah Mixon-Webster
If this body is a boy & all boys know death
& death bodies Black:
then this body knows how boys die. Black boys
teach themselves dead & caught, grasping the hems of black dresses
& dirt. The boy bodies dead things, a celebration.
If this body is a boy & all boys know is destruction
& destruction is the beginning of new things:
then this body is tomorrow. Ashes in air — boy
be the site of the new world. Destruction is the departure,
an obliteration of how this body suppose to be.
If this body can be new a thing & new things can be pretty
& Black things are always pretty:
then imagine this body beautiful, imagine this Black,
immaculate. This body been pretty before it was new
& Black, been always & now.
So if death can be pretty & Black can die pretty
& this body pretties death:
then this body can be every lily sprouting,
fresh, breaking the earth. Black blossoming self,
spectacle & miraculous. See the tragic become
a melody, the body a sweet-hymn.
If this body is a dead thing & this body is boy
& boys be outside their bodies:
then I lay beside myself, so & already memory,
already a grieving allowance. The body attends its
funeral in gorgeous melancholy. Boys line the casket,
tomb-stoned face & carrying.
If a boy dies in this body & outside of the body be Black
& outside of Black be death:
then this body dies outside of itself, Black
& boy. This body ain’t never been more than lit
candle, raised glass, poured out. Outside of this body
dies a boy, impossible.
this body, all Black & boy, dies pretty
of his own destruction. Outside the memory
of himself, this boy becomes a new thing, his body
learns to allow a handsome grave.
jayy dodd is a blxk question mark from los angeles, california-- now based in Detroit. their work has appeared / will appear in Lambda Literary, Prelude, Assaracus, Day One, Winter Tangerine, Dreginald, & Guernica among others. they're the author of [sugar in the tank] on Pizza Pi Press. they are the CTTNN Club. a poetry art collective. find them talking trash on the internet.