~photos from my RAGGA NYC profile~

Photo Credit: Dan Gutt
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HOW HAS YOUR BACKGROUND AFFECTED YOUR WORK/LIFE?

My ancestry exists
as a pantheon of whispers;

therefore, the wind
is my ancestry. Far off

sounds in my memory—
ni de aquí, ni de allá

—500 years of colonial rule,
enough generational distance

to be distant now. I work
hard. I work harder. Never

enough. For the product
of colonialism to be present

in the skin, is a thing I think
abt sometimes. I outlive each day

storm-fit and unsouling
myself. Loss. Lostness. Lost & list

-ening. Enemy, animate
my background—the noise

-scape of each triggered thought,
each iteration against oppression

a bone carved into the likeness
of my face—a pedagogy

of my own design—a murmur
of shadows

to which I must return.
& Thaz it.

Thank you so much to Randall Horton for inviting me to read with Xanath Caraza at the University of New Haven. I found myself deeply moved by Xanath’s evocative performance and text. It was truly an honor for me to learn so much in such a brief encounter with her craft. Truly incredible. These are photos of the event (provided by Xanath and Randall).