Spondylolisthesis, or why I eat Taco Bell

I grab a #7 when I am my most depressed. Like today,
scarfing down a Crunchwrap Supreme to drown out

the dagger & twist from my lower back. Like when
the Baja Blast drowned out the Black boi asking

for anger to save them in my throat; my back hurts
in a country who wants to disable me. What feels

better than a hard-shell medicine, a lover (read: stranger)
asking if you need anything else. so I stuff my sadness

with hot sauce packets. My gifts come wrapped
in hexagons, too sexy for my pain. Weary needs

saving as much as it needs flavor & a country not bent
on Black suffering. What is your after-appointment fix?
Mine costs $7.22. Mine is fractures with enough
decency to come packed with straws and napkins.

What does your healing cost?

KB Brookins (also known as KB) is a Black/queer/transmasculine poet, essayist, and cultural worker. Their words are published in American Poetry Review, Poetry Northwest, Huffington Post, Teen Vogue, and other venues. 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. Follow them at @earthtokb.

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