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& on my way out of the capitol, I see 2 trans boys kissing

They lean their limbs on the big white building. 

In the midst of heavy hands with amber gavels 

ripping our lives away, while boys in cowboy hats  

& ripped jeans–the kind Bri Bagwell would deem

faux cowboy, while reporters ask me 

what will you do now that you are illegal,

while meritless tears fall from the most beautiful girls 

you’ll ever see, they swap genes. They print themselves 

on the side of our state’s mazey hell trap like 

the scene needed to see what Texas means.

They bloom themselves in a sea of sad enbies. 

It would be perfect if it wasn't so sad. I would be something 

if I didn’t have to tell you this. Love me like a kiss 

stolen from an ex at our biannual death 

match. Miss me like the hand that cradles a blue 

lover’s back while fire burns through pink light. 


KB BROOKINS is a writer, cultural worker, and artist from Texas. They are the author of How To Identify Yourself with a Wound (Kallisto Gaia Press 2022), Freedom House (Deep Vellum 2023), and Pretty (Alfred A. Knopf 2024). KB is a 2023 National Endowment of the Arts fellow. Follow them online at @earthtokb.


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