Whoever began to think
of how to catalogue
that which we call
man and woman
could have arranged to meet
with someone to stroll,
along the seashore,
I remember the first time
that I looked at myself in the mirror.
I couldn't believe that,
given how many times my eyes
encountered my reflection
they had never before questioned:
Hey! You ... who are you?
Or if they'd done so...
they hadn’t wanted to go
in their interrogation...
the fear ... fear of difference,
fear that immobilizes the dissidence
that flows along the edges of a palace
outdated and decaying,
which just a few have constructed
within some pre-established parameters
What use are classifications
if I don’t do anything but love you.
If I was a woman or am a man
(physically), if I were homo (or
hetero), any of all that,
what does it matter?
If love doesn’t abandon me
and I only feel peace
when I am with you.
By Ian Bermúdez Raventós
Translated by Lawrence Schimel
From SER HU(O)ME*∞(À) published by Bellaterra.
Read The Queer Riveter in its entirety here.
Ian Bermúdez Raventós is a Catalan writer, linguist, translator & professor. He is the author of the poetry collection Ser hu(o)me*∞(à) (Bellaterra) and the graphic novel Transito (Pol.len & Bellaterra). He is the co-creator and co-ordinator of the project DebuT*, a space for training and investigation of new trans identities and their forms of representation.
Lawrence Schimel is a bilingual author and translator originally from New York, now living in Madrid. He has published more than 100 books as author or anthologist, in many different genres. He has translated more than thirty poetry collections, most recently Destruction of the Lover by Luis Panini (Pleiades Press), Bomarazo by Elsa Cross (Shearsman), and I Offer My Heart as a Target by Johanny Vazquez Paz (Akashic).