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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