Guest Post — Yosimar Reyes

His bio reads this way — Yosimar Reyes is a queer, undocumented, poet, performance artist and public speaker. Larry Trent sends me his poems often share his them here. He is not just immigrant-poet or queer-poet a but speaker of the human truth. He calls us to look at people of love around us, at ordinary blessings which are so important, and yet at the way treating people as nothings has become “ordinary” in our desperate world.

In 1991 we did not have the English language on our tongues.

when we arrived everything was so new to us
the cold weather
tall buildings
concrete roads
street names
bus routes
stores
we made sense of this new place as best possible
we traveled in groups
packs of dark Mexicans
walking into stores
when we could not pronounce
our order at a McDonald’s
we used our fingers to gesture numbers
ignorant we felt
so small and lost
in this big city
when no one would hire us
we swallowed our pride
rose before the sun
stood outside of Home Depot
begging for work
they laughed at us
exploited our necessity
we came home to lay
on living floors
in a crowded apartment
infested with roaches
we saved
after rent and bills paid
we sent money home
over phone calls lied
to our townspeople
how beautiful San Jose is
how there is much to see
our throats burned with the lies
we told ourselves to adapt to this place

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4 Responses to Guest Post — Yosimar Reyes

  1. Jessica McArdle says:

    Haunting. Thank you for sharing his work, Maren.

  2. Linda Cetrulo says:

    Impressive. I followed up and found a video of him reading some of his poetry in Venice CA. He gives me hope. People aren’t giving up. The circle is growing and will continue to get bigger, though not w/o us enduring more very tough times. Poets and other artists help lead the way.

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