KB Brookins
I Admit It

I am not always hypervigilant 
about killing bugs when they tangle 
in my locs. I fart without turning 
the other way so the smell is hostage 

under the sheets while my partner sleeps. 
I’ve done unspeakable things & here I am, 
telling you so you can get on with it. I cheated 
on a test. I cheated on a partner & talked 

about her worse when she left. I watched a friend 
be berated by homophobes & did nothing 
but walk him home, in silence. I’ve been so silent 

you could scream all year & it wouldn’t be enough 
to fill the blank spaces. On days where my limbs 
are glued to the bed like stars in the sky, 

I scroll until my eyes are tired 
of dog pics & tragedies. Sometimes, 
I don’t repost the graphic with the hashtag. 

Most times, I care less & less about the action plan
for freedom. You don’t have to comment; 
you don’t have to convince the police.

They are already sending dogs for me. You don’t 
have to justify bypassing another mother’s tears 

for a formality — no they should’ve complied 
needed. This is me coming clean. This is me, 

turning my wrists to the whitest part for optimum 
cuffing. Can you resist the urge to kill me? 

KB Brookins (also known as KB) is a Black/queer/transmasculine poet, essayist, and cultural worker from Fort Worth, Texas. Their writing is published in Academy of American Poets, Huffington Post, American Poetry Review, Teen Vogue, Electric Literature, Okayplayer, Oxford American, and elsewhere. KB is the author of How To Identify Yourself with a Wound (Kallisto Gaia Press, 2022), a chapbook selected by ire’ne laura silva as winner of the Saguaro Poetry Prize. They have earned fellowships from PEN America, Broadway Advocacy Coalition, Lambda Literary, and The Watering Hole among others.