August 3, 2016

LGBTQ Poets Respond to the Pulse Nightclub Shooting

J Phoenix

Simple Things

It was a week after Pulse before I noticed what we were both doing. It was a hand left in a pocket or keeping the keys clutched or holding the water bottle on that side instead of the other. It was the glances around and the walking faster as to be a little bit in front of the other a race to the door. It was the unconscious that eventually made its way to conscious. "If you wanted to, you would." "We don't always have to be so touchy." "It's just so hot out." "We're in such a hurry." Then all at once, as we were walking unlinked into a restaurant, I realized I was afraid to hold your hand. Such a small thing to fear … yet here we are. Isn't it the simplest things we want? To be loved. To love. To have security. To have faith. To be heard. To be acknowledged. To be visible. To exhale. To gather. To sing. To dance. To breathe. To survive. To extend a hand. To interlace our fingers. To not break away.

J Phoenix is an unapologetic lesbian-feminist-poet. She lives in St. Louis with her wife and three kids.

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