Trans Day of Remembrance (2009)

Who am I to memorialize

Photo: Kaitlin DeWilde

someone else’s sister or friend?
I have nothing to say except
I am sure they were all fighters.
How else do we keep on
putting one foot in front of the other in front of the other?
Also I am sure they were sad sometimes
overcome with the joy
of feeling finally laced together.
How do I remember lives or names
I have never run my palm across,
never spoken before now?


Yasmin                                              Noelia                                                  Taysia, her lover
Alexa                                                 Cynthia                               Marcela
Aline                                         Valeria                                               Vicki
Caprice                                          Jessica                                          Vimlesh
Rovilson                                          Kanan              Minja                                    Albor
Guillén                                          Dayana                                Miriam
Cita                                                                                                               Camila
Katherine                                    Noor                                             Enrique
Will                           Andrea              Rusbel                               Aiton
Cristy                                                                                       Puttalakshmi’s
Camila                                         Cris                                         Maradiaga
Carol                                                              Vicky
Pequeña                          Miriam                                  Archie                                        Guimarães
Fernanda                                   Teixeira                              Lam
Kirsi                               Sabrina                                            Avila                      Violeta
Ebru                                   La Luli                                                     Adriana
Eda                                                                 Sasha                            Monserrat
Smail                                                  Gisela
Melek                                         Roberta                                                  Jimmy
Carneiro                                                                  Kenia                        Wanda
Carolina                               Jeva                              Bianca                       Ávalos
Tyli’a                                   Ramon                                    Juliana
Kamilla                            Kimberly                                 La George
Fernanda                                     Rômulo
Jenifir                          Diksy               Tamires
Kristina                    Tigresa                                    Ketlin                                                 Sánchez
Sayda                                                    Xiomaran
Cagla                                            Foxy                Bibi
Dara                          Papucha                                   Kelly                                           Tanya
Jorge                                                                          Catherine
Carla                                              Rafael               Anita                                  Paulina
Luana                                                  Kamilla                                            Meena
Hadise                                  Kristina                                            Samara
Destiny                                      Marinho                                                Christopher
Terri                Cesar                                                      Linsia                   Eric
More                  unnamed,                               unidentified,                        unknown.
More                                  uncounted,                                                                or discounted
for lack of blood


I am afraid
they are
no one else’s.

Especially those without pictures, or even names.
And those whose bodies look like mine, unrecognizable.
according to who?

Is that what community means,
points of overlap or loss?
The reason, every year, we come together
to mourn a list of names
(imperfect memorial but)
who else will?  Maybe a mother.                                    but what about all those kids,
found dead in their bedrooms,
on the street?
Too many questions. Too much bluntness and ink.
I wonder who else charts their dead.


Somebody is always dying,
why can’t we remember without knowing

penis and/or gun or knife? brick?

She was always one of us,
strange how impossible that feels
without violence. I am sure
there is something else we share.
Perhaps we are both tired
of writing these poems
or trying to be political
instead of sad.
mark,  remind, mourn, recover
mark, remind, mourn, recover


What happens when I am left alone here
with a wall of lives, too many
for my container heart
that is already
to spill?

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