After Discovering Natasha Bedingfield’s Ass

I have to take a second to breathe. I think about who’s Grandma’s yams 

Ms. Pocketful of Sunshine been scarfing down for decades to make 

that cake. Do you remember the first time you heard Unwritten? 

It felt like looking at a fresh cut backyard with 2 hours of grass & sweat 

caked atop my amber forehead. Like running in circles 

with the pretty girl at recess & quenching my thirst with a Hi-C

afterwards. I’m telling you my age with that sentence. I’m telling you, 

that backside reminded me of B, and I can still see her ance-wridden forehead 

& buck-toothed smile so vividly. I’m not sure I mean These Words, 

but I’ll say them anyway: I do enjoy a good laugh while remembering who she was 

before the system & addiction took over. I do believe tik tok can rewrite the wrongs 

of redlined childhoods dangling from rooms our mind works to evict, 

even if for 10 seconds. I’m telling you, every challenge white people give me 

should be playful & tragic like this. I have to take a second

to thank B, & Natasha in a way. After all, who could raise memory 

out of me but a white girl. They know how to start infernos in an instant.

KB is a Black queer nonbinary miracle. They are the author of the chapbook HOW TO IDENTIFY YOURSELF WITH A WOUND (Kallisto Gaia Press, 2022), winner of the 2021 Saguaro Poetry Prize. They are a 2021 PEN America Emerging Voices fellow. Follow them online at @earthtokb

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