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Dear Hermano

By Moncho Alvarado

Again people are being taken away,
I read the news of kids
like your daughter & son,
like our family, our neighbors,

they wake in a state of temporary,
that lasts longer & longer &
longer than we can remember.
I read online the Smithsonian

purchased children's drawings
of them in camps: grey beds,
red, black, & orange people in them,
archaeology happening in real time.

Is remembrance joy? I once asked abuela,
she said, "It takes work until it becomes
second nature to you, like breathing,
like knowing the earth gave you a voice

to sing across generations like this:
My voice, the land, my voice, the land
sings my story, my voice
the land, my voice, the land

the clouds look
like they're going on forever;
do they ever die?
or are they constantly reincarnating?

Life, aqui, a deep possibility,
of memories: a translation of living,
a brief swell of air along a saguaro's needles,
the way we eat: alive,

but hermano, there are still camps,
& when I'm eating a fruit salad, I crunch
into the body of lettuce, the crispness
has a cost, but all of this always did, remember?




Listen as Moncho Alvarado reads Dear Hermano.

Added: Thursday, November 16, 2023  /  Used with permission.
Moncho Alvarado
Photo by Oscar Ochoa.

Moncho Alvarado aka @moncholapoet is a sister in residence in air, a Cihuayollotl trans Xicanx poet, translator, visual artist, and educator. She is the author of Greyhound Americans (Saturnalia Books 2022), which was the winner of the 2020 Saturnalia Book Prize, selected by Diane Seuss. She has been published in Hayden’s Ferry Review, Foglifter Journal,, and other publications. She has fellowships and residencies from Lambda Literary, The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico, Troika House, and others. Alvarado is a two-time Pushcart Prize Nominee and a Best of the Net nominee, and has been featured at Brooklyn Museum, Adrian Brinkerhoff Poetry Foundation, Times Square Arts, and PEN America, to name a few. Currently, she is working on a trans historical novel in verse and lives in Queens with her partner, cuddly dog, and meowling cat. Learn more about Moncho at her website and follow her on Instagram @moncholapoet

Image Description: Moncho Alvarado, a queer trans woman of color with bold blond and dark brown hair, is smiling widely. She wears a multi-colored shawl with a colored pencil and a dangling earring in their right ear as well as two circular nose piercings. Her hair is worn swept over her left shoulder. She is outside with branches in the background.

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