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

[poem to be read in a circuit]

who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?

who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?

the doctor, the psychiatrist, the pastor, the lawyer, the cook, the poet
that publishes decolonial poems, the theorist who says who? the
cisgendered feminists—hi raquelita—the strikers, the memeists, the
ultrakids drinkingshots, the levitators?

who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?

who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?

ernesto cardenal, will he cry for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
will drake cry for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
will brangie cry for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
it’s a serious question
i don’t accuse
it’s a serious question
i don’t expect
that would be my question
what must expastors think of women of trans experience?
the famous poets, are they too busy?
will walter mercado cry for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
will my old comrades cry for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ like
they cried for so many who have died that we don’t know anymore how
not to alienate ourselves from the quotidian traumas?
will the boricua socialist organizations cry for SOPHIA ISABEL
MARRERO CRUZ? will they show up like they showed up for filiberto’s
funeral? will they defend her from those who will call her crazy, contradictory, unstable?

who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you will cry for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you will cry for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you cries for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you will cry for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
who among you would cry for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ
if she were cisgender

if she were a cisgender man
if she had made 27 albums and had a really cute mansion
if she had been on mtv
if she had 5 books titled
“deconstructing the trans in transgender”
“jorge luis borges’ trans-activism”
“memiors of an transpolitized academic”
“the performative and the puerto rican:
memoirs of my memories”
“medical interventions in puerto rico: a three part saga”

i’m serious
i’m not accusing
i don’t want to save us
or for you to cry because i asked you, ya know?
nor for you to take a sudden interest—even if it wouldn’t feel too bad to
hear her name repeated once or twice—
i’m just trying to figure out what the fuck i should do with such disparities

i wouldn’t have found out either
if it weren’t for my loves
impacts of impacts
chains of struggle without medals or prizes
that’s what i mean when i ask:
that i never would have known

surely her family cried for her
[as a man]
surely they spilled their knots
over their beard filled in by some amateur artist
without a doubt they cried for her and thought of her and submitted her
to the death they wanted

the death they chose so that they could cry in peace
over the life that never had the name SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO
CRUZ

i’d like not to hate them
i have less right than they do
to cry for her
i’d like not to want to scream at them and scream at me for screaming
but surely they cried for her
what do i do with so much silence?
what do i do with so much mourning without repercussion?
write poems? dream that others read them?
that upon reading them they’ll cry not for the poetry but
for SOPHIA ISABEL MARRERO CRUZ?
and who would they be, the criers?
tell me i’m not blaming you
please tell me


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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