August 3, 2016

LGBTQ Poets Respond to the Pulse Nightclub Shooting

Kenneth Pobo

Quiet Life

On the day of the Pulse massacre, I weeded and bought groceries. My quiet life was over. I had wanted to dig a tunnel into an old movie, a place to hide in and never come out — on the day of the Pulse massacre I had to come out. My door had no lock, every window busted — my quiet life was over. Eddie took bullets in his back to save his lover Luis, murdered on the day of the Pulse massacre, along with 49 people, each with names, each with stories. My quiet life was over — the time had come to speak, to honor. Each funeral called for courage. On the day of the Pulse massacre, my quiet life was over.

"After the Pulse massacre, words didn't come. I thought about the names of the killed and wounded, names of real people killed by bullets, killed by hate. My poem was a little inspired by a song by the Mamas & the Papas from 1967 called "12:30 (Young Girls Are Coming To The Canyon)." In that song the line "I can no longer keep my blinds drawn" nudged me into the poem. I wish we could wake up and feel we won't see any new mass shootings — but we know we will. This one hit me particularly hard as I am gay and Pulse is a gay club."

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