Tuesday Apr 23

HeidiAndreaRestrepoRhodes Heidi Andrea Restrepo Rhodes is a queer, mixed-race, second-generation Colombian immigrant, writer, scholar, artist, and activist. Currently the Outreach Representative for Queer and Trans* incarcerated poets for Nepantla: A Journal for Queer People of Color, she is committed to creative work as a practice of witness, social documentation, historical memory, of radical healing, of provocation to action, and as a tool for liberation. Her poetry has been seen or is forthcoming in a number of literary journals and anthologies, including Decomp, Word Riot, Raspa, As/Us, Feminist Studies Journal, Yellow Medicine Review, Write Bloody’s We Will Be Shelter, and others. She lives in Brooklyn.

The Dream In Which We Die Together

is always changing, but dark,
night has fallen on the era,
we weep between our toes
running from a gun
whose barrel-tongue
bears our names

we rush in the shadows
of bridges, leaving fragments,
ink like bread crumbs, wondering
if the sea will steal our footprints
from the sand, leaving us traceless

but then I awaken
to your gently sleeping eyelids,
their stop-motion blossoming
into the day
& it is now, I know

these three hundred lives we lived
reaching out like fingerbones
to remind us
how hard we fought
for here, this simple morning.

Swans, Once

All things that touch turn white
as snow and glowing want

we’d fondled the golden eye
barely, with the bones of wings,
exiled in clutches, flocks,
gleams in our irises
like cousin ibises
cooling themselves in brown pools,
hiding the secrets of mud, earth

we’d tasted the feverish tilling
of empire, and watched our layers unfold
into albescence
like children breaking their teeth on
pearls, precarious desiderations

we were swans, once
our etiolated necks dipped
in curtsy to kings,
(we’d forgotten the moon,)
our reflections in the glisten
feverishly desperate for
the steadiness of our bodies, hands, feet,
when nightfall waxed memory,
past lives, mirages,
Zeus in disguise, and
the perishing of our human sisters

Galleried and primped for the delight of display
we played the deliverance to Beethoven’s Fifth
and with every mute note,
consigning our recollections to oblivion,
            molting in conversions of our death
            our once thick vibrance effaced,           

            only traces of our movement between worlds, and
            now the opaline dissolves beneath our palates           

            and we relish it, we pretend it is sweet