A Poem I Wrote While Eating Bulgogi in Mexico City

By Alex Voisine

Like water I am the container

In which I find myself

I exist in between the imaginaries of State, Nation, and Place, I think.

My form, my language, my hobbies are contingent, untethered.

I reject labels like Global Citizen, Liberal, Queer, Westerner American, Socialist, Capitalist.

I move to different countries and bring my containers.

A lover tells me I’m beautiful and I leave him for a new container.

A university spends four years constructing me into a “Liberal Arts Major”

And all I want to do is move to a hut in Chiapas and grow carrots and write poetry and touch grass and learn to create music.

Judith Butler tells me I’m performing

Foucault would say I’m the product of a long historical Process of power and counter-power conducted under the auspices of Biology

Mbembe would predict that my Queer body will die at the hands of a necropolitical state system that feeds on death.

But sometimes

All I want is to

Pack up my Pathologies

my abnormalities

my fluidities

my flexibilities

And move to Mercury

(Has that been colonized yet?)

And vacation in Venus

And stargaze within the ethereal folds of a star

In spaces and places

Where Property is cosmically impossible

Where Nation is dead

Where State is a black hole

Where imagination is Capital

Where spaces and places cannot be traced arbitrarily

On canvasses of race

Where I cease to exist as a solid, as a concept

Where we don’t have the capacities to call the particles around us anything.

But for now I walk around with my containers

On Earth

On soil

On pavement

On solidity

And I move and mold and make forms

Then immediately reject them, my inventions, unpatented

Until I run out of ideas.

About the Author: Alexander Voisine 

I'm a Fulbright scholar living in Mexico City where I study at the National Autonomous University of Mexico, and I'm a recent graduate of Temple University. My poetry has been featured in Temple University's Hyphen Magazine, and my fiction in Philadelphia Stories. I like to write about movement, symbolic and physical migration, displacement, and urbanism, and in Mexico I'm researching LGBTQ+ migration.