Poema I


By Neyshka Diaz Maldonado

Tu partida, amargo recordatorio de lo que ser mujer significa en esta isla
Estrellada como avión que cae entre montañas de odio e indiferencia.
Me siento indefensa, necesitada de abrazos.
Imagino tu dolor en esos últimos momentos.
Me vienen a la mente recuerdos de mucho miedo.
Miedo por ser mujer, por ser cuir, por ser de color …por ser…
Ya no te pongas triste.
Te pido de favor ahora nos cuides a nosotras con la valentía que te caracteriza.
Déjanos en la Tierra la tristeza.
Ahora te toca vestir de lentejuelas, ser libre, pintar tu eternidad de jayaera.
Descansa en poder, Alexa.

Alexa Negron Luciano, also known as Neulisa Luciano Ruiz, was a homeless transgender woman who was brutally murdered in Puerto Rico on February 24, 2020. Her murder has provoked outrage and renewed conversation on the island about transphobia and other problems faced by transgender and non-conforming people. Alexa’s death is another reminder of the dangers faced by transgender and non-conforming people around the world. I wrote the attached poem as an outpouring of relief from feeling her death so closely. I met Alexa several times in the coffee shop where I worked. Also, her murder was a reminder of the much work that remains to be done on my island, Puerto Rico. We urgently need education with a gender perspective to prevent us from being murdered for simply deciding how to live our lives as women. Also, I wanted to clarify that ‘’jayaera’’ is a colloquial word that means ‘’beauty’’. It is commonly used among the local LGBTQ+ community. Finally, ‘’cuir’’ means ‘’queer’’.

Neyshka Diaz is a M.A. student in the Women’s and Gender Studies Program through the Center for the Study of Women and Society at the Graduate Center, CUNY.

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