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if time is queer/and memory is trans/and my hands hurt in the cold/then by Raquel Salas Rivera

if time is queer/and memory is trans/and my hands hurt in the cold/then

by Raquel Salas Rivera

(published in their 2021 book, x/ex/exis: poemas para la nación/poems for the nation, U of Arizona P, Bilingual Edition)


there are ways to hold pain like night follows day

not knowing how tomorrow went down.


it hurts like never when the always is now,

the now that time won't allow.


there is no manner of tomorrow, nor shape of today

only like always having to leave

from and toward the future's could-be,

in order to never more see

the sí;


and if forever proves me wrong,

it'll hurt with the hurt of before the before.

it'll have to take me along:

all the never-enough of why and therefore.


life has given me much to believe,

but more is the doubt that undid what i know,


for, like night follows day, the pleasure is sure,

of forever beginning once more.



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