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Uplifting Black, Brown, and queer voices across the South—no matter who's in office.

This week we bring you poems by MJ Santiago and Andres Rojas that hold us close for what comes next, from our series "This Work Will Take Dancing" highlighting the poetry and of Latinx writers in the U.S. South. In a time where many are discussing the question of apocalypse, the question of endings, these poems invite us to consider what remains—after violence, after loss. To believe in the lens of poetry is to believe that what lingers beneath individual disappointment and longing is something collective, universal, and even magnificent. "I am standing in a time / softer than it looks," writes MJ Santiago and "Still, someone has brought flowers" writes Andres Rojas. May we always remember to bring them.

Read more from 'This Work Will Take Dancing' here.

memory of college with the super blue blood moon

standing in the small woods
where my college boyfriend wanted
to have sex, light

from the library window,
silhouettes of students,
shadows on leaves —

he said I was boring
and I ate it
as stones.

I am standing in a time
softer than it looks.
mulch on steps

leading me into ravine,
breath catching bugs.
I remember my body most

from where the water
left, made itself wet.

AND A GREAT PART OF ME WILL ESCAPE THE GRAVE
           –near Dahlonega, Georgia

Yellow as the late October sun
there was a dust in these hills

once, and other peoples,
long departed. Might as well

honor the bumblebees, felling-
saw loud. Might as well

mourn grass. What was carved
has given up its hold:

blank as quicksilver
the Hickory Flats gravestones,

slate weathered smooth
by scarcity and years. All

had a name, a first day,
a last one as themselves.

No more. Still, someone
has brought flowers

paper-white and red:
plastic, two per grave.

MJ Santiago

Originally from central Florida, MJ Santiago is a queer, Mexican-American poet who currently lives and works in New York. Their work has appeared in Reservoir Lit, Heavy Feather Review, and Tinderbox Poetry Journal. Their first chapbook, Baby Knife, is available from tenderness yea press.

Andres Rojas

Andres Rojas was born in Cuba and came to the U.S. at age 13. He’s lived in Northeast or North Central Florida for all but three years since his arrival. He holds an M.F.A. from the University of Florida and is the author of the audio chapbook The Season of the Dead (EAT Poems, 2016). His poetry has been featured in Best New Poets and has most recently appeared or is forthcoming in, among others, AGNI, Barrow Street, Colorado Review, Massachusetts Review, Mid-American Review, New American Writing, New England Review, Notre Dame Review, and Poetry Northwest.