A secret order of saints, house mothers, and watchdogs stand guard over
a small colony of opium-filled caterpillars that sit on the moon, spinning husk cocoons
for dead trans women and their ancestors
in the cocoon a fantasy with no definition becomes
a pornographic display of estrogenic wet dreams and the divine feminine
I watch myself on earth talking to a john or crossing the street
the concrete feels like a wall of exhaust smoke
in my mind I step back and watch the impression my body creates
In this space my body
gravity is not universal and no one experiences its pull the same.
on earth I pray:
Dear Martha and Sylvia
I look for you in the sidewalk cracks, and in the sky when I’m under threat.
On a good day I can see a part of you in me.
If you are watching please send a sign
I long for the comfort of your arms, a mother’s embrace.
Last year Dejanay Stanton was murdered 10 blocks away from me. Vontashia Bell was
murdered that same day.
We didn’t know each other but their passing made me wonder.
Where do all the trans women go?
We are worth more in death as a hashtag than when we are alive.
Is there a number of times we must say her name before she can find peace?
Is there a Backpage in the heaven I dream of?
Fragments of this death sequence, a dream
Follow me as I leave the house
I look behind me and see them
visions of butterflies on the other side
Chloe Patricia (b. 1996, New York) is an interdisciplinary artist and writer who lives and works in Chicago, IL. Chloe's practice spans sculpture, text, and performance, and explores themes of technology, body politics, and cultural identity. Her work draws from postcolonial and feminist theory, as well as Latinidad and Catholic symbolism, to build new mythologies around the transformation, materiality, and labor of the human body. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the School of the Art Institute Chicago and has also studied at The New School. Her work been exhibited and spoken at venues including Annka Kultys Gallery, London; the Museum of the Moving Image, Queens; The Knockdown Center, Queens; and POWERPLNT, Brooklyn, among others.