On the Puerto Rican summer 2019 revolution

Beatriz Llenín Figueroa

nothing 
prepares us
for joy

not
for burning, defiant
joy

whereas

every
single
bludgeoned 
page 
of history
and
every
single
dispassionate
page
of ‘political theory’
prepares us
for despair,
presages
our doom

in truth,
political joy overcomes us 
because not a single page 
of such history 
or political theory 
has been written 
from within

but here,
in this ‘small place,’
where we’ve been made
to believe that
our joy was evasion,
our laughter immaturity,
our dancing backwardness,
our rituals atavism,
here,
in this insular intimacy,
revolution happens

as it turns out,
we’d prepared 
ourselves, 
we’d shaped our own,
immanent tools

and no master
—not even a marxist prophet—
will tell us no more
            that only the material is real,
            that there is only
            one
            path,
            one
            need,
            one 
            plan

ours are
the underwater currents
the profane miracles
the immaterial signs

our bodies 
are made of
paths,
needs,
and plans
            you could’ve never
            ever
            imagined

step 
            aside
            down
            away

this small place
confronts
            you
laughing

this small place
makes the revolution
            against you
dancing

this small place
wins

and will keep on
winning

            are you prepared?

in a state of freedom

for the PPD
it’s called
estado libre asociado
free associated state

for the PNP
it’s called
otro estado de los estados unidos
another state of the united states

but i’m in a state
of freedom

like the rest of us

marching
in the sun,
dancing
in the rain,
chanting
in the streets.

so,

The Party
is
            over
            done
            dead.  

Beatriz Llenín Figueroa’s research and creative work revolve around Caribbean literatures and philosophies, island and archipelagic studies, gender and queer theory, decoloniality, and street theater and performance. Some of her creative work in the midst of Puerto Rico’s current crisis has been recently published in the book Puerto Islas: crónicas, crisis, amor (2018). She teaches at the UPR-Mayagüez campus as an adjunct faculty member in an adjunct country. She also works as editor for Editora Educación Emergente and as freelance editor and translator. Through her work with activist collectives in the archipelago, she is committed with a decolonial future for Puerto Rico, debt relief and reparations, public education and independent art.

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