Sometimes We’re Invisible by Emanuel Xavier

20 Nov 2017 | Under Uncategorized | Posted by | 0 Comments

By Emanuel Xavier

what we choose to remember
what we choose to forget

a new drug known as crack appeared on the streets the same year
Venus Xtravaganza, 23, was found strangled under a bed in a hotel room (four days after her death)

South Africa freed Nelson Mandela the same year
Julio Rivera was murdered in NYC by two men who beat him with a hammer & stabbed him with a knife for being gay

Tupac Shakur was gunned down the same year
Nick Moraida, 37, was killed by a member of the Aryan Brotherhood, posing as a male prostitute during an attempted robbery

the Twin Towers collapsed on 9/11 the same year
Fred Martinez, Jr., 16, a Navajo two spirit student, was bludgeoned to death in Colorado because he was a “fag”

Eminem won at the MTV Awards the same year
Gwen Araujo, 17, was beaten and strangled by four men in
Newark, California

Hurricane Katrina hit and Pope John Paul II died the same year
James Maestas, 21, was assaulted outside a Santa Fe restaurant and followed to a hotel where he was beaten unconscious

a student went on a killing spree at Virginia Tech and Apple introduced the iPhone
the same year
Ruby Ordeñana, 24, a transgender woman was found naked and strangled in San Francisco

Fidel Castro stepped down as President of Cuba and writers went on strike in Hollywood
the same year
Lawrence King, 15, was shot and killed in school by 14-year-
old Brandon because he was effeminate and flamboyant

Michael Jackson and Farrah Fawcett died and a plane landed on the Hudson River
the same year
Jorge Stevens Lopez Mercado, 19, a gay rights advocate, was found decapitated, dismembered and partially burned in Puerto Rico

Haiti was devastated by an earthquake the same year
Amanda Gonzalez-Andujar, 29, a trans woman was strangled and doused with bleach in her Queens apartment and Ashley Santiago, another trans woman, was found naked and stabbed fourteen times in the kitchen of her home

Osama Bin Laden was finally killed and Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell was officially repealed
the same year
Rosita Hernandez, a Cuban trans woman was stabbed to death in Miami and Camila Guzman, a transgender woman was found murdered in her East Harlem apartment

a gunman opened fire during a screening of The Dark Knight in
Aurora, Colorado, and Hurricane Sandy hit the same year
Kyra Cordova, 27, a trans woman was found dead in the woods of Philadelphia

mariposas/brown lives/queer lives/trans lives
we fly in our dreams
brighten skies
still know the sun for flight
the wind for guidance
yet sometimes we’re invisible

may our souls linger over fields/prayers
our names/stories remind them we are worth love
know god

There is beauty in darkness, in the night sky, in the eyes of mi gente
Beautiful is our love
Splendid is our survival
Our history is sacred and worth remembering

Copyright 2016 by Emanuel Xavier.
From the new poetry collection Radiance (Rebel Satori Press, 2016).