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  • Writer's pictureEvangeline Lawson

Postcolonial Love Poem (A Review)

"I am doing my best to not become a museum of myself. I am doing my best to breathe in and out. I am begging: Let me be lonely but not invisible."

Through her words, Natalie Díaz is imploring the world to see us. All of us unloved, overlooked bodies. Those of us who have been "othered" to justify abuse.

While she uses references to elements of the earth as a reminder to us of the indigenous community she belongs to, her beliefs are transferable and echo the sentiments of many people who have suffered at the hands of various systems of oppression. Natalie Díaz, who identifies as queer, Indigenous and Latinx; examines the intersectionality of her life and the conflict it presents, but the goal of this work is not to tie it up in a pretty bow. Instead, her beautiful words disguise the ugly in a palatable way. Not just to inform, but to amplify the voices of those who cannot speak for themselves. Diaz encourages us to embrace ourselves, even when society fails to protect us and reflects our beauty in the midst of feeling unworthy.

I appreciate poetry that fits into a larger social context, but also can be personalized. As Natalie Díaz shifts between English, Spanish and Mojave language, Postcolonial Love Poem achieves that, but also illustrates a deep love for the earth that nurtures us in spite of the people that may try to forget us. #nationalpoetrymonth

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