August 3, 2016

LGBTQ Poets Respond to the Pulse Nightclub Shooting

Veronica Haunani Fitzhugh

Where Brown Once Lived: A Tribute to Orlando's Queer People of Color

The white river slowed and deposited me, the brown river stone, in its shallow.
Discarded fragile, light spaces where brown once lived —
Gaping shells, pink, white iridescent surrounded.
I shall not covet your shimmer.

I look up through my watery grave and see a bright blueness I cannot understand.
Dismissing the false bright tricks of rippled sun,
I continue to stare until the azure gives way to blackness pinpointed by twinkling.

Whispers caress the edges of the white wash's current crashes.
I hear a story that the twinkle is a rock so powerful it became a star.
One of those stars birthed me.

I am not just a thing ran smooth and safe by white waters.
When I break, my innards are dry and jagged and violent.
I discover my gravity.

Luis, Juan come, let's dam this erosive river!
I recognize the same stardust in you.
We spark, combust, burst.
Our sediment intermingles and flows refusing drowning.

Now, the river runs brown.

Veronica Haunani Fitzhugh enjoys sipping Arnold Palmers while scribbling on her porch in Charlottesville, Virginia. She has a BA in English Literature from the University of Virginia. Her short works have been featured in several online and offline anthologies. She is currently working on something top secret and longer.

Glass: A Journal of Poetry is published weekly by Glass Poetry Press. All contents © the author.