BLACK PHILOSOPHY #3 by jayy dodd

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.

In conclusion:

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.


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