elegía/elegy. Anomalous Press, 2018.
Elegía/elegy is baptized by queer loss and losing. Each section deifies lost cuir/queer loves, closing the distance between deity (queer icon) and fam. The book delves into the (im)possibility of building between lo cuir boricua and the queerness of being boricua in the diaspora. It invites the reader to “learn to tell the difference between our love and theirs,” and to see, in this difference, a way forward.
“Like all of Raquel Salas Rivera’s books elegía/elegy begins with the premise that all the poems within will have their mirrored Spanish and English versions. This is a lie. You’ll find quickly that there are holes between both versions, that the languages are playing tricks between each other, that they are trying to fool you into seeing something bigger and more disturbing. To build their bilingual world on the page, Salas Rivera makes embraces between two nothings, threading gaps. This bilingual world is not the cute fantasy of Rosetta Stone or Duolingo, it is the truer and more precarious world of an American colony on the brink of change.”
—Gabriel Ojeda-Sague, author of Oil and Candle