August 3, 2016

LGBTQ Poets Respond to the Pulse Nightclub Shooting

Ami Maxine Irmen

Before Bodies were Battlefields

I long to be a child again, carefree, the monsters of the world filtered through the safety net of my parents' fingers, back before I knew my safety was something that could be stripped away, that hands, the very things that guided me into the world, could be the very things to take me from it. I want to go back to the time before I knew how bullets could fill bodies, how bullets could lodge fear into the walls of classrooms, theatres, clubs, into the walls of safe spaces, before bullets punctuated my sentences as I stand before my students, before they caused me to question whether it was safe enough to reach for my partner's hand as we walked down the street and ultimately caused me to slip my fingers into the pockets of my jeans. I long for a time when fear was a mere flicker and not a blaze, when I could darken the room enough to sleep, when I didn’t feel the constant heat against my own body, when I didn't have to stitch up my heart every few days, back to the time when my heart was more muscle than thread. My blood has not yet spilled onto the battlefield, and I long for a time when it did not feel as though it were just a matter of time.

Ami Maxine Irmen is a queer introverted writer, photographer, and teacher. She uses all mediums necessary to explore what it means to be human, to make connections, and to seek truth. She prefers her books to be paper, her music to be vinyl, and her trees to be weeping willows. Previous publications include The Sheepshead Review, Blue Earth Review, and Sinister Wisdom.

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