This was the summer we finally looked up,
looked around. We rubbed the sediment of
sleep from the corners of our eyes. Tenderly.
It was a filmstrip we had collectively dreamt
We had not arrived yet
This was the summer of listening first, for a cue
permitting us to breathe, exhale into each other’s
embrace. Remembering that it was always easier
with strangers. Estrangement in the night, exchanging
dance moves with strangers who felt this way, too.
And because we said we would honor the dead by
dancing more, I am going to hold you to that. Gay
Shame knows I am too broke to give a fuck. As this
became the summer I stopped taking all of this: a
paradise concretized in ecstasy, paralyzed by colorful
arcs; you can still see them on the windows made dull
by rising rents, for granted. It’s etched in the marrow,
the knowing, the sun will rise when
we come home from the club
Raquel Gutiérrez has long been a writer and live performer. She is a film actor, curator, publisher (Econo Textual Objects, established 2014), playwright, arts administrator, and community organizer. She writes about art, culture, music, film, performance and community building and creates original solo and ensemble performance compositions. Running In Place: poems about INSTITUTIONALITY is Raquel’s third chapbook released in March 2015, following #WhiteBoo and Breaking Up With Los Angeles (Econo Textual Objects, 2014).