In this week's episode of the Get Lit Minute, your weekly poetry podcast, we spotlight the life and work of poet, Joshua Jennifer Espinoza. Her work has been featured in Poetry, Denver Quarterly, American Poetry Review, Poem-a-Day, Lambda Literary, PEN America, The Offing, and elsewhere. Her full-length collection THERE SHOULD BE FLOWERS was published by Civil Coping Mechanisms in 2016. Source
This episode includes a reading of her poem, “A Guide to Reading Trans Literature”. See more of her work in our Get Lit Anthology.
“A Guide to Reading Trans Literature”
We’re dying and we’re really sad.
We keep dying because trans women
are supposed to die.
This is sad.
I don’t have the words for my body
so I’ll say I’m a cloud
or a mountain
or something pretty that people enjoy
so if I die
people will be like “Oh, that’s sad”.
Be sad about that.
It’s okay to be sad.
It is sad when people die.
It is sad when people want to die.
I sometimes want to die but I don’t!
I’m one of the lucky ones.
You can feel happy about that.
It’s okay to feel happy about that.
Now pretend this is very serious:
History doesn’t exist.
My body doesn’t exist.
There’s nothing left for you to be complicit in.
It’s okay for you to feel happy about that.
Now pretend I am crying
right in front of you,
opening that wound up just for you.
Now pretend you can feel my pain.
Now pretend something in you
has been moved, has been transformed.
Now pretend you are absolved.
Support the show