heidi andrea restrepo rhodes is a queer, Colombian/Latinx poet and scholar from California. Her first poetry collection, The Inheritance of Haunting (University of Notre Dame Press, 2019), was selected by Ada Limón for the 2018 Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize. The collection is a meditation on inter-generational and collective inheritances of historical memory and post-colonial trauma, the responses they elicit, the forms of refusal, life, and love, that emerge in their wake. Her poetry can also be found in journals such as the Academy of American Poets Poem-a-Day, Raspa, and Nat.Brut. A doctoral candidate in Political Theory at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York (CUNY), she currently lives in Brooklyn.
After all references to transgender Americans are scrubbed from government websites…
By heidi andrea restrepo rhodesAdded: Monday, September 9, 2019 / Used with permission.
After all references to transgender Americans are scrubbed from government websites, I only love you more, dear, you will not disappear
__ October 29, 2018
for you are made of light & flesh, voice & shimmer
no amount of scrubbing will eliminate the shine, you
luminesce, your tired heart
lingers in the dusky dawn liminal, blue
is the color of your name, a shade
in view now, harnessed in the eye centuries
of sky & sea & wine parsed out, there
on the blank wall your footprints your voice, bursting
in laughter I tilt my face toward you to warm by your radiant, many
days & years & the sweep of delights we’ve shared, here
together here we are, here I see you & your many hearts, bright
with every stitch & wound & smile winding, up
now to the fury & its many mountains, that place
where we never need mirrors or a fascist’s pen, spilled
out over here is my hand & your name on my lips, sweet
day all day your name on my lips, on my lips your name
& every beautiful, oh
do you know you are my reference you are, one of the ways I measure
the intensity of light or how I come to know I exist, as well
because ain’t nothing like this kind of brilliant so trembling, yes
so mighty & flame now, nothing can erase you,
you you & you
& yes, you, too
so permanently. here lighting. a way.
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