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I try and figure out how to breathe. Like—I straight sit in my room, circle like moon, suck in, body collapsing inward, stomach tucking, lungs buckling, shuddering, shuddering—holding deep. Then air bursts from me, busts right out my mouth, catching against my heartbeat, stammering the air a bit, turning it a foamy blue-green.

And I can still see blue scenes, barreling into me, wrapping around my body—two boys drowned in each other, sea-riddled lungs, chests hitching, a kiss, the slight collapsing of shoulders, water sloshing, sand crushed under flexing palm, rolling sky, the hot moon above, the connection, the hush—soft

and violent—blue-boy heart snapped open by the fist of the boy who seemed to love him, same fist that gave to him moonlit bliss, same fist he saw in his puppy dog sleep kissed by his nervous lips. Chiron in broken bathroom light, flickering fluorescent, pale, soaking into dark skin, moonlight slipping from his eyes. Little fading to Black

like the type of sob dream you get when you ain’t alright but soon you finna be, because there’s some trick light, some full busted moon-beam, that is so warm it brushes through you, brims your whole skin, glows you up until you bright enough to burn the whole sky, burn the black bright.

I realize—yeah, yeah, nigga you blue too.

I’m blue too.

I’m as black as the night sky. The moon clings to me. Black skin catching so much moon-heat. Moon transforming me—this body—this blackened entity beneath the bluest undoing.

I’m a kid again.

I’m Little

and watching the moon rise over me. I’m curled in on myself, becoming moon. I’m clutching the heart sound, chest so tiny now, not sure I’m feeling a pulse. Hands so small now, I can’t hold the sound in. Lungs so weak now, I ain’t breathing. I ain’t breathing. I ain’t breathing. Moon got me

on that breathless. Moon got me off guard. Got me looking into it, deep and hazardous, falling in. My body hitches, something like air slips between my teeth. I fall out—right into a half-shape, draped against my bed, pressed against the mattress, drenched in sweat, teary-eyed, dry-mouthed. And I’m rasping. And I’m shaking. And I’m crumbling.

I’m biting at my own skin, tryna get the moonlight out.

But the moonlight stuck in. Stuck to the bone, stuck to the blood and the pulse. I press my ears to my wrist and listen—sounds like crashing waves, like a mouth parted around a nervous sound, like black kids whispering in the night, like bashful bodies colliding into the blue air, sinking in, becoming new, blue-hued. Moonlight never leaves once it gets in—its attracted to blackness. I’m the black sky, the fevered blue forever. I kiss my moon-fevered skin. I kiss from wrist to fingertips. I kiss all the black skin I can get. Moon-loved, moon-basked, blue-blessed—

I breathe.

Beasa A. Dukes is a twenty-seven year old, black bi-gendered person. They graduated Longwood University with a BA in English and West Virginia Wesleyan College with an in MFA Creative Writing. They have published in the Guide To Kulchur Creative Journal Issue No. 4, PANK Online Magazine, Polychrome Ink Journal, GrubStreet, No Tokens, Foglifter Journal, Paper Nautilus, PRISM International, and Cosmonauts Avenue. They focus-write and play around with gender, race, sexuality off-pulse spirit stuff, and the body to explore identity.
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