by Gabriel Ramirez
Why the questions? Me alone? You, always wherever you are when you reach me? Where I been all this time? Guessing when you might get here? How this not about arriving? How this not about where I been? Why I’m always tryna’ to start something? Why ain’t you? Ain’t there enough blood? Flowers? Ain’t you bored? You ever been to a bodega or a river? You always find what you need don’t you? You ever wondered what you look like in someone else’s eyes? No? Yea, you never been to a river right? Figures, hold up, you got my father’s bones to show me? Disappoint me like my father huh? You good at being here ain’t you? Ain’t none of this rhetorical, you gonna think about this right? I been thinking about you this whole time, ain’t you know, between funerals and a funeral where you find me? Like belief systems? Nah, more like parents?
All I know is
I been thinking about
You ever wondered if the moon just wanna be left alone? Just in the dark? Where ain’t no fathers to resent or mothers to worry about or brothers to want to cry in the arms of on the other side of the country which might as well be the world since your passport gonna expire without another stamp after the one you got to push your Abuela Ana’s casket in a niche on top of your Abuelo’s? Nah? Me neither, but that moon though? There gotta be flowers there right? Right?
Gabriel Ramirez is a Queer Afro-Latinx poet and teaching artist. Gabriel has received fellowships from Palm Beach Poetry Festival, The Watering Hole, The Conversation Literary Arts Festival, CantoMundo and a participant in the Callaloo Writers Workshops. You can find his work in publications like Winter Tangerine, The Volta, Drunk in a Midnight Choir, VINYL, as well as Bettering American Poetry Anthology (Bettering Books 2017) What Saves Us: Poems of Empathy and Outrage in the Age of Trump (Northwestern University Press 2019) and is forthcoming in The Breakbeat Poets Vol. 4: LatiNEXT (Haymarket Press 2020). Learn more about Gabriel through his website RamirezPoet.com.