The Wardrobe’s Best Dressed: elegía elegy by Raquel Salas-Rivera

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you are so much more than your translation

she doesn’t understand why my home is not her sanatorio
why oh the ocean is beautiful oh el morro oh

YOU HAVE NOT READ ME IF YOU HAVE NEVER DIED & GONE
TO PUERTO RICO

YOU HAVE NEVER READ ME IF YOU WERE WAITING FOR THE
POEM TO COME OUT IN ENGLISH
you could of course not read me not soulform one dash—mid-me

THIS PLEASURE TINCTURE es aquello fresquería de sarduy prestada
MY SURVIVAL AS POEMS FOR YOUR CONSUMPTION
MY FLESHECHOED AGAIN FOR YOU TO QUIVER

if you have come this far you understand i’ve made holies of all things
i love and in myself abundance of loss wellsupped into cavern(ícolas)
ousness
you have understood what it is to make of loss
but not loss
what it is to drag my words rage swollen and tucked
many in the present shifts of memories crystalizing like sugary pop rings
you have understood what it is to be the bastard before there were family
crests
but not loss

I CANNOT TRANSLATE FOR YOU ANYMORE
I’VE BURNT HOLES IN MY SHIRTS WITH CIGARETTES & FORGOTTEN


This selection comes from the book, elegía elegy, available from Anomalous Press.  Purchase your copy here! Our curator for this selection is Tierney Bailey.

Raquel Salas Rivera is the 2018-19 Poet Laureate of Philadelphia. They are the inaugural recipient of the Ambroggio Prize and the Laureate Fellowship, both from the Academy of American Poets. They are also the author of six chapbooks and five full-length poetry books. Their fourth book, LO TERCIARIO/THE TERTIARY, was on the 2018 National Book Award Longlist and won the 2018 Lambda Literary Award for Transgender Poetry. Their fifth book, WHILE THEY SLEEP (UNDER THE BED IS ANOTHER COUNTRY), was published by Birds, LLC in 2019. They received their PhD in Comparative Literature and Literary Theory from the University of Pennsylvania. Raquel loves and lives for Puerto Rico, Philadelphia, and a world free of white supremacy.

Tierney Bailey is a Libra, a lover of science fiction and poetry, and studies Korean in her spare time. Currently, Tierney is an associate poetry editor at Sundress Publications, a copyeditor at Strange Horizons, and a freelance graphic designer. Tierney earned a Masters Degree in Writing, Literature, and Publishing from Emerson College. Tierney is most easily found screaming into the void on Twitter as @ergotierney. 
 

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