Cover Photo: still life painting of a memorial buffet featuring Cheetos, gummy worms, and red velvet cheesecake
Illustration by Sirin Thada for Catapult

On the occasion that i die before i’m thirty,


Alan Lopez · On the occasion that i die before i’m thirty,

On the occasion that i die before i’m thirty,

search the notes section of my phone & click on “addresses”— the third one from the top, go there with a dozen spoiled eggs &   aim for the second balcony, throw eight eggs &  
 throw the remainder at the other balconies to avoid suspicion; tell everyone that the first time i made love to a happy trail, i was 17 in a cemetery; ask my mamá to adorn me in her pearl necklace—she’ll know which one; tell all my exes that i nevaaaa stopped loving their trifling asses walk through the richest neighborhood you can find & steal their potted plants,   bring em to the service & gift em to all the guests; the dress code for fifteen days following my death will be lace,   anyone who doesn’t follow through nevaaaa learned how to love me; serve sour gummy worms, Kit Kats, & hot Cheetos as the appetizer,   pork belly & pineapple skewers as main dish & red velvet cheesecake for dessert; i want Ivy Queen’s “Yo Quiero Bailar” as the opening prayer; if you must start a GoFundMe, only allow it to be to book City Girls in the closing remarks, there must be no mention of my migration or bravery; if anyone reads poetry, let it only be an ode to green-tea donuts; when they finally decide to put away my body, spray rose water on my corpse,   pick up the oldest bottle of mezcal you can find & place it inside my casket.

On the occasion that i die before i’m thirty, remember that i was more than papers; remember that i was more than gender; remember that i was more than flesh.

On the occasion that i die before i’m thirty, call me a lover; call me a hoe; meyours.

Alan Pelaez Lopez is an AfroIndigenous poet, installation and adornment artist from Oaxaca, México. They are the author of ‘Intergalactic Travels: poems from a fugitive alien’ (The Operating System, 2020) and ‘to love and mourn in the age of displacement’ (Nomadic Press, 2020). They live in Oakland, CA and organize nationally with Black LGBTQIA+ migrants and other people who throw down with the work. Catch them crying at coffee shops, dancing bachata in a cute lil jumpsuit or watching vogue videos on Twitter.