First Boyfriend By Nia KB

First Boyfriend

A senior walked me to freshman English then pressed his pretty

boy lips on mine. For the first time I felt, beneath his acne-free face and

crest-whitened teeth; a reminder of my vitality. When we first started dating, I

doubted he’d fancy my scarred, ashy knees and beast-like method of

eating, but his light brown eyes sparkled no matter how improper and

foolish I appeared to me. For fun, I tamed his matted braids with my cheap, flaky

gel after school, and to my surprise, we were a happy couple. On awfully

humid afternoons after lunch in his little blue car, he looked away when

I needed to change out of my undershirt. He wasn’t threatened by my

jolts when he kissed my neck, or my unhealthy obsession with

knowing everything about him. His last name started to sound good

lying in front of a hyphen next to mine. For some time, our age difference didn’t

matter until the day we went to his house to play video games. He decided

now was a good time to touch me there, slow and with sensual purpose, I

opened my mouth to utter the words “no”, and his soft, heavy hands applied

pressure to my neck long enough to frighten me into scratching him bloody. He uttered

quietly, “sorry”, and I stood, without words remembered or left in the drying

river of my psyche. I sprinted out the door to the nearest secluded stop

sign and let the lonesome helplessness escape through the strength of my

tears. I got a friend to take me to school the next day, and the sweet face I

used to know looked smeared with regret and sorrow — a feeling I erase with

vacuity. He tried to friend me on facebook, and I saw he had three children with

women one or two years younger than me. For a while I hovered around the gray

“X”, wondering whether he’d know if I blocked him. “Some niggas will always be

youthful” I whisper to myself, yet I can’t help but wonder if those

zig-zag braids still stink of gel, and those hands still look like lions clawed them.

By Nia KB


Nia KB (they/them) is a Black queer nonbinary poet, editor, and educator. They are the recipient of fellowships and residencies from Lambda Literary, The Speakeasy Project, and UTSA’s African American Literatures and Cultures Institute. Their poetry appears or is forthcoming in Eleven40Seven, Z Publishing, Pamplemousse, Brown State of Mind, Lighthouse Literary, and elsewhere. When they’re not blessing stages or writing pages, they serve as Associate Poetry Editor for Fields Magazine, Production Assistant for the web series Gentrified, Curator/Host of the reading series Austin Interfaces, and Teaching Artist for Austin Library Foundation’s Badgerdog Creative Writing Program. If you got this far, they think you should follow them on twitter and instagram at nia_kb.

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