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By Raquel Salas Rivera

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.

Raquel Salas Rivera, "is time is queer/and memory is trans/and my hands hurt in the cold/then" from X-Ex-Exis.  Copyright © 2020 by Raquel Salas Rivera.  Reprinted by permission of Bilingual Press/Editorial Bilingüe .

Source: X-Ex-Exis (University of Arizona Press, 2020)

  • Living
  • Social Commentaries

Poet Bio

Raquel Salas Rivera
Raquel Salas Rivera was born in Puerto Rico and currently lives in Philadelphia. Of their work, informed by Leftist politics as well as Spanish language literary traditions, Rivera has said, “There are poems like solidarities. This is the most ideal case. It makes people reach out to me, like after a reading, when I write something and other Boricuas are like, ‘This poem about the debt made me cry.’ When I see them cry, and they're thanking me for writing it, that's not just a poem. It becomes larger than itself. It becomes an interaction in the world, which is doing a kind of political work.” They are the 2018–19 poet laureate of Philadelphia and a co-organizer of the festival We (Too) Are Philly. See More By This Poet

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