Categories

PART OF THE Sanctuary ISSUE

‘i remember that i love you now as much as i did when we first met and i wish i had told you that once more.’

Etzali Hernández is a nonbinary latinx queer fierce femme poet, coder, dj and no borders organiser. Their pamphlet from murky waters, we rise will be published later this here, and you can catch a preview below.

 

Extracts from from murky waters we rise
By Etzali Hernández
Published by Forest Publications

 

ode to rainbow friendship
in memory of Shaun Mitchell,

i remember looking at you for the first time and immediately wanting to
be your friend. your hip and sharp demeanour. the realness of your
being, pouring uncontrollably.

seeing you standing, Queer and proud, Trans and magical, Black as
fuck, in your sea of caps, black hoodies and plaid shirts.

i remember calling you when I was about to board a plane for the first
time in years. i’m humming a made-up song, and you immediately say:
are you twerking?!

seeing you standing, Queer and proud, Trans and magical, Black as
fuck, in your sea of caps, black hoodies and plaid shirts.

i remember celebrating my birthday, rainbow cake and spliffs, tequila
and prosecco. the three of us were laughing. i’m about to open a
bottle while you’re shouting: don’t shake it, open it in the shower!

seeing you standing, Queer and proud, Trans and magical, Black as
fuck, in your sea of caps, black hoodies and plaid shirts.

i remember travelling on the night bus to birmingham, a baby crying
the entire journey, working on a technical task for a job interview, and
finally eating in a mcdonald’s crowded with drunk youngsters at 6 am.

seeing you standing, Queer and proud, Trans and magical, Black as
fuck, in your sea of caps, black hoodies and plaid shirts.

i remember travelling back to glasgow via manchester. a taxi arriving
way too early for us at your cousin’s, making a stop to eat chinese
food, hopping on the tram and getting lost, missing the train and
laughing hysterically at our mistake.

seeing you standing, Queer and proud, Trans and magical, Black as
fuck, in your sea of caps, black hoodies and plaid shirts.

i remember messaging you for the last time, a casual check-in in the
middle of a pandemic, a chat of chronic illness and medical racism as
we often did. a quick goodbye that says i am thinking of you.

seeing you standing, Queer and proud, Trans and magical, Black as
fuck, in your sea of caps, black hoodies and plaid shirts.

i remember us calling hospitals in the middle of a spring night and a
few days away from your birthday. we are looking for answers as to
why your door was broken. no one is telling us anything. calling here
and there is like an electric circuit having a shortcut.

seeing you standing, Queer and proud, Trans and magical, Black as
fuck, in your sea of caps, black hoodies and plaid shirts.

i remember him video calling me in the middle of my work shift. a
brown face, swollen red eyes and the damn answer. when i told her,
she fell to the ground like hurricane debris, and her cry made the flat
howl like a wolf lamenting after losing a cub.

seeing you standing, Queer and proud, Trans and magical, Black as
fuck, in your sea of caps, black hoodies and plaid shirts.

i remember burying you, a dystopian moment. 2 meters apart, without
a way of physically holding our broken selves together. i could not
muster the strength to see you once last time. i refused to make my last
memory of you, of us.

seeing you standing, Queer and proud, Trans and magical, Black as
fuck, in your sea of caps, black hoodies and plaid shirts.

i remember someone crying for you even after breaking you down to
nothing. the we were best friends claims. the fakeness of some
memorials. they used you as the face of their hypocritical
organisations. whitewash. pinkwash. everyone was washing away your
ideals, wants and struggles, just to get to say your name.

seeing you standing, Queer and proud, Trans and magical, Black as
fuck, in your sea of caps, black hoodies and plaid shirts.

i remember us bursting out laughing at their boldness and praying that
you cannot see all the fuckery from wherever you are now, because if
someone deserves better, that someone is you.

seeing you standing, Queer and proud, Trans and magical, Black as
fuck, in your sea of caps, black hoodies and plaid shirts.

i remember that i love you now as much as i did when we first met and
i wish i had told you that once more.

seeing you standing, Queer and proud, trans and magical, Black as
fuck in your sea of caps, black hoodies and plaid shirts.

 

i don’t have the stomach for it

remember the hollowness you felt

when she transitioned?

you became a black hole

full of fluid and cavities

emptiness and indigested love

that the first time you took ecstasy,

smoked weed and downed a bottle of alcohol,

was the same night that you had to pee in a glass

in the middle of your dj set

from all things to consume,

you let the four horsemen of the apocalyptic grief

to become part of your gut flora,

probiotics like her love,

tears as your probiotics,

chewed up your depression,

depression as your gastric mucus

gastric acid like her memories.

digest and absorb what is left of us.

 

from murky waters we rise by Etzali Hernández is published by Forest Publications, priced £10.00.

 

Etzali Hernández is a nonbinary latinx queer fierce femme poet, coder, dj and no borders organiser. Their work has been published in Ascend Magazine, We Were Always Here: A Queer Words Anthology, and Ceremony (Scottish BAME Writers Network). Etzali’s first poetry pamphlet from murky waters, we rise is forthcoming from Forest Publications. Website: www.panditita.uk.

Share this

ALSO IN THIS ISSUE

Another Way to Split Water: A Q & A with Alycia Pirmohamed click Another Way to Split Water: A Q & A with Alycia Pirmohamed

‘I feel water is so rich with imagistic and metaphorical potential, being a reflective surface as we …

READ MORE

Creating Change: Lorraine Wilson on Rewriting the Margins click Creating Change: Lorraine Wilson on Rewriting the Margins

‘The aim is simply to give each writer two things: 1. A way forward with their writing, and 2. The c …

READ MORE