"You Summon" by fabian romero

it has been 9 months of waiting

for the drizzle and rain to feed the fallen timber

or resemble the touch of loved ones

you mention to the sky that you miss the days that you didn’t feel captive

the kind of freedom from breathing the same air as your kin

how do you make sense of days lost to the pandemic?

of losing yourself to 500 years of felt knowledge?


9 months ago while you walked the streets in south Oregon

you remember the day you spent at the cafe

watching the coffee drinkers and the just woke uppers

take up their space without worry of proximity to a stranger or a friend or a lover

Do you remember that coffee on your lips that you wiped off with your open hand?

the flavor is not the memory

what stays with you is the warmth from brushing against the strangers as you made your way to the counter

the several times you had to stop to let pass the worker and the poet and mother

inches from each other

that stays

the one time you got to almost touch your loved ones

the ones you used to spend days with laughing

was to mourn

one loss felt like more loss than was possible

You wanted to hold the ground in lieu of your loved ones

so you caress the leaves of the tree and tell them to prepare to fall in a few months

so you can fall with them and allow the caress of gravity

the cats know your grief routine

they prop their head into your curve

You talk to them in full sentences

Practice the conversations you wish you could gain the courage to have

The i'm missing you but I'm unable to give anything

The i'm sorry for missing your everyday while i try to stay in quarantine

You observe ghosts sweep through the streets

Occupying and making home of the empty

They up the winter with their arms and spell names on our bodies while we dream


FABIAN ROMERO P.h.C. (Purepécha) is a student in Gender, Women & Sexuality Studies at the University of Washington. fabian’s academic interests include racial capitalism, settler colonialism, Black Feminist Studies, Indigenous feminism, gender and sexuality. Poetry, and artistic collaboration are integral to their research. Their work takes up the topics of gender, sexuality and authenticity for queer, LGBTQ Indigenous and two-spirit people as well as Indigneous kinship, art collaboration and imagining Indigenous futures.

Their written work can be found in Troubling the Line: Trans and Genderqueer Poetry and Poetics,Untangling the Knot: Queer Voices on Marriage, Relationships & Identity,Writing the Walls Down: A Convergence of LGBTQ Voices and their self-published chapbook Mountains of Another Kind.