Andrés N. Ordorica
In the Woods
After Tishani Doshi
They are coming out of the woods like leaves blowing in howling wind. Only to be pushed further out across the land. In droves, they are singing loudly, exuberant, fearsome even. These former quiet sprites, invisible not from want but because it meant surviving. If only to see another day. But now, they cloak themselves in every colour of a rainbow, dressed in every type of cloth. Some are proud in the single space they occupy. Others still are everchanging, and still others, are ciphers, coded solely to make sense to kindred spirits in the know. In the woods, they have thrived. There in the forest live all the clues to their existence. How for millennia, they have always walked the earth, for this we know. You see, we have always been sending smoke signals from one generation to the next. Until eventually forced into action, saying finally, no more. In the face of great fear, in the face of great violence, it is braver to leave the safety of the trees, if only to see the light, to feel the sun. If only to fight back. Yes, they are coming out of the woods. They are running out of the woods. They are dancing out of the woods. We are howling in the wind. Like trees, we shake. Like trees, we stand. In the woods, where we have always been.
ANDRÉS N. ORDORICA is a queer Latinx writer based in Edinburgh. His writing maps the journey of his diasporic experience and unpacks what it means to be from ni de aquí, ni de allá. His debut poetry collection, At Least This I Know, is published with 404 Ink.