August 3, 2016

LGBTQ Poets Respond to the Pulse Nightclub Shooting

Gemma Cooper-Novack


Because I don't like to dance anymore anyway odds are it'll just be my gut and loneliness, lung and large intestine eroding while I settle into mattress undulation, toenails echoing on stairs until I wake up breathless, unsustainable. Still, once or twice a strobe light's taken the rhythm of my pulse, so I can see it: squares of violet light on the corner where she's locked her hips to mine and something worse than bass lines splitting kiss from air. We'd hurtle towards the street that we escaped by entering, spectres from seven minutes ago already rushing to bleed where skin touched.

Gemma Cooper-Novack is a writer, arts educator, and writing coach. Her poetry and fiction have appeared in more than twenty journals, including Ballard Street Poetry Journal (Pushcart Prize nomination), Bellevue Literary Review (Pushcart Prize nomination), Cider Press Review, Hanging Loose, Santa Fe Writers Project, and Printer's Devil Review. Gemma's plays have been produced in Chicago, Boston, and New York, and she diablogs on She has been awarded multiple artist's residencies from Catalonia to Virginia and a grant from the Barbara Deming Fund, and enjoys baking cookies and walking on stilts in her spare time. Her debut poetry collection We Might As Well Be Underwater will be published by Unsolicited Press in 2017.

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