Just Visiting

Mariana Valencia in ALBUM. Photo by Alex Escalante.

When you are inside a memoir of your own making
I wonder when it dawned on you:
Catalog(ue) your life
These smells
That person
These pillows
That story
These songs
That heart
These neighbors
That death
Those deaths
Yes, those male deaths

When you woke this morning
Naturally, or not
When you decided to part ways with your sheets
Naturally, or not
When you had to get up to get out the door
Did you think of your sister, long dead
When you recall this familiarity
This familial this
This, what you’re doing,
Which is

When I enter
In the room
Inside the theater
Is this a theater
Inside the theater, I am aware
Your singing
Your song choice
Your clothing
Your crew neck
Your tea drinking
What flavor and why

When I pull this poetry
From small cubby holes
And other square-shaped storage
Will you listen more
When I travel across the world
Acquire said poems inside quadro-holes
I shouldn’t write it down
Write it all down, that is
Because it will destroy
From the inside out
Even though
That’s what we want (need)

What memory you can’t tell, you dance
What dance you can’t remember, you sing
What story you can’t like, you record
What road you can’t travel, you erase

You listen to your friends
As courtesy

We are circling around
A drain
Of consciousness
Feels clogged
First generation promises
First generation freedom
First generation slow speeds
First generation privilege
On sidewalks, car windows, sweaty brows
We celebrate
Partake in the celebration
It won’t be here tomorrow
You know this
You should

Preserve your voice
Preserve your body
Preserve your herstory

Mariana Valencia in ALBUM. Photo by Alex Escalante.

Between Walled Rooms is a series of freeform responses to live performance works, initiated by Tara Sheena. This work is a response to Mariana Valencia’s ALBUM, which premiered at Brooklyn Arts Exchange in April 2017. Valencia will also show an excerpt May 25 and 26 as a part of the LaMama Moves! Dance Festival; more information here.

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