“I’m Not Allowed to Explain (Only Foreshadow & Reminisce)” is my second book, an attempt to recollect the space between our bodies and our spirits when we give in to the journey life sets before us. Through poetry, I explore the elusive nature of an American upbringing as a queer Black immigrant femme, specifically recounting the dispossession of personhood I experienced at a predominantly white college as my family back home went through deportation proceedings. Between interpersonal violence and systemic oppression, “I'm Not Allowed to Explain'' is about the stories we cannot tell in real-time and what happens to them when they are left to ferment in the shadows. With prayers and confessions, I name what I am most afraid of: that sometimes surviving means starting over and starting over means we forget everything we were, alchemy as tragic as it is redeeming.
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