I Keep My Ex’s Nudes in A Locket

roped around the base of my neck. I wrap myself
in all her baggage to sorrow myself un-lonely; this cozy
be Jared-endorsed; my tears, our lifetime, all
retained in this container, fun-sized. I keep my cracks
close to the heart. My ex’s nudes tell me I am human. O,
the reminder of when her method of judging character caved
enough to let me ooze through. O, her tits sit glorious
and buttercoated, trigger the thought I rubbed my lips on those once;
 
I want them to dance with me under bright lights
dizzy with failure — spin swiftly like the earth’s
melting core until the need to cry calls me home. We breakdance
in a straitjacket, me & this locket. I keep it as a kind of safety
from self — and who would I be without the remembrance of
Her fingers circling the outline of my hairline, anyway? I don’t
believe in that possibility, so I hide the locket in my mouth
when I run too fast to the next ardor, or softly dream of screaming

Nia KB [they/them] is a Black queer nonbinary poet, editor, and educator currently based in Austin, TX. They’ve received fellowships from Texas Christian University, Lambda Literary, The Hurston/Wright Foundation, and UTSA’s African American Literatures and Cultures Institute. Their poetry appears or is forthcoming in The Cincinnati Review, The Matador Review,  Sappho’s Torque, Vagabond City Lit, Rising Phoenix Review, Cosmonauts Avenue, Foglifter Press, The Shade Journal, and elsewhere. When they’re not blessing stages or writing pages, they serve as a Teaching Artist for the Austin Library Foundation, Curator and Host of ATX Interfaces, Assistant Editor for Borderlands: Texas Poetry Review, Associate Poetry Editor for fields Magazine, and proud member of Lenguas Loc@s Writers Collective. If you got this far, follow them on the interwebs [at] nia_kb.

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