All the Dead Boys Look like Me



for Orlando   



Last time, I saw myself die is when police killed Jessie Hernandez


                         A 17 year old brown queer, who was sleeping in their car


Yesterday, I saw myself die again. Fifty times I died in Orlando. And


                        I remember reading, Dr. José Esteban Muñoz before he passed


I was studying at NYU, where he was teaching, where he wrote shit


                        That made me feel like a queer brown survival was possible. But he didn’t


Survive and now, on the dancefloor, in the restroom, on the news, in my chest


                        There are another fifty bodies, that look like mine, and are


Dead. And I have been marching for Black Lives and talking about the police brutality


                        Against Native communities too, for years now, but this morning


I feel it, I really feel it again. How can we imagine ourselves // We being black native


                        Today, Brown people // How can we imagine ourselves


When All the Dead Boys Look Like Us? Once, I asked my nephew where he wanted


                        To go to College. What career he would like, as if


The whole world was his for the choosing. Once, he answered me without fearing


                        Tombstones or cages or the hands from a father. The hands of my lover


Yesterday, praised my whole body. Made the angels from my lips, Ave Maria


                        Full of Grace. He propped me up like the roof of a cathedral, in NYC


Before, we opened the news and read. And read about people who think two brown queers


                        Cannot build cathedrals, only cemeteries. And each time we kiss


A funeral plot opens. In the bedroom, I accept his kiss, and I lose my reflection.


                        I am tired of writing this poem, but I want to say one last word about


Yesterday, my father called. I heard him cry for only the second time in my life


                        He sounded like he loved me. It’s something I am rarely able to hear.


And I hope, if anything, his sound is what my body remembers first.



Christopher Soto (aka Loma) is a queer latinx punk poet & prison abolitionist. They were named one of “Ten Up and Coming Latinx Poets You Need to Know” by Remezcla. Poets & Writers will be honoring Christopher Soto with the “Barnes & Nobles Writer for Writers Award” in 2016. They founded Nepantla: A Journal Dedicated to Queer Poets of Color with the Lambda Literary Foundation. Their first chapbook “Sad Girl Poems” was published by Sibling Rivalry Press in 2016. Originally from the Los Angeles area; they now live in Brooklyn.



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