Mysterious Acts by My People, Valerie Wetlaufer


“My name doesn’t sound the same
without your mouth around it.”

If the cover and title of this book doesn’t convince you that you should read it, I’m not sure my review will.

This collection has power in it, invokes the souls of every person marked in its poems. I knew its poems would wound me when I read the dedication, which is made out to three woman–their life spans written beneath them, most living just barely their twenty years.

Valerie Wetlaufer writes on the difficult (and also joyous) aspects of queer life. Most of these poems are the former, touching on miscarriages, rape, failed relationships, and wanting to be “the 33rd gay suicide that year.” There are few happy thoughts on love, but when they come, they are bright: the quietly remembered details of a lover, the shape of your name on their mouth, their mouth on your body.

I want everyone to read this collection; we should remove the mystery from the acts of my people.

Books read: 11


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