This collection of poems, translated by Guadalupe Robles, resonates with songs of love and despair, of heartbreak and hope, of healing wounds and passion for a future filled with magic. It is a brutal insight into the raw emotions experienced by a young black latina woman on her path to womanhood. She seeks council from her deceased ancestors, both far distant and painfully close by, in poems such as “A Short Film’’ that describes the decline and death of her grandmother, or her imagined suicide after which her mother mixes her daughter’s ashes with her tears, only to have them turn into black butterflies. A book with unforgettable lines: “God is a black woman who sings in a minor key” and “Blackness is the color of hope. Our sadness tinged with the what-ifs and the might-have-beens, which is why our dead never really leave us.”
I Will Forget These Poems but Never the Way They Healed Me is a must-read for all partisans of Blackness.
Author Cheyenne Ávila
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Once, I prayed for my faith to take me to the ugliest parts of myself and I woke up when I was Nineteen. And I woke up when I was Twelve. And I woke up when I was Seven. The truth is, I have been comfortable turning myself over to teeth, apologizing for the space I take up, pardoning how I feel to ease the guilt of the people who hurt me. The truth is, new things are always going to try to destroy us, and we will not be given an explanation. The truth is I have to believe what I feel or I will disappear. The truth is, when I reach into myself and hug the child that did not die, vulnerability becomes an easier and more sacred act.