The beginning comes after you bury your dead [Mateo Lara]

For my friends

Tu sabes, las palabras se convirtieron en el enemigo.
Pero así es como empieza todo.

how gripping a swollen moon
could scatter its powerful display
Retracting gleaming golden hints
To what would survive the next drought of science-based evidence
In becoming wild and remote in
Someone’s glinting eyes.
Cross your heart, hope to die, in the face of God
White stripes on your red lies, blue across our savage lands.
Tell me what escapes from this experiment on our tired words
I only get one chance to feel this rumbling and crashing
Making sense of
this entitlement: grief swarms
I’m vulnerable in every piece of brown flesh
Showing and glowing as the storm hits.
They are shocked at burning hands
diversity among rotting corpses
decaying in the wombs of
some deity you couldn’t understand
the fetus of ignorance in our mouths
what will you do now?
It’s a test-subject, evidence-based mess, determining my unruly queen
Is something to be snuffed out, she will outlive all your houses
Stalking your after thought
Breathing under dirt
I feel the “crashing-down”
Our vulnerable stance
Come clinging and tricking us
Evaporating the magic
Of our transgender brothers and sisters
Sleeping in their glittery shadow
On my wall, come rebirth in my breath
Or take yourself somewhere safer
In kingdom stolen at midnight
Rising, buzzing science of aftermath trauma
On our new world.
Come needing, fulfilling prophecy
Power on bruised ribs, come seek what will fall
Palm, not giving up
Así es como termina.


Mateo Lara is from Bakersfield, California. He is studying English Literature at CSU Bakersfield. He is proud to be latinx, learning to embrace his identity inside history, language, and culture. His poems have been featured in The New Engagement and EOAGH. He has a chapbook, X Marks the Spot, on Amazon.

Inspiration: The inspiration for my piece came from the idea of silencing people and taking away words. Where’s the beginning when we keep seeing the dissolving of identity and acceptance? I wanted to reflect defiance and strength. I hope I achieved that.


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