August 3, 2016

LGBTQ Poets Respond to the Pulse Nightclub Shooting


Orlando, FL — June 12, 2016

I have written on my wrists, "If found, Do not return. Do not resuscitate. Destroy immediately." I have been marked By gunmen as a new target, I wear a bracelet saying, "Turn off my phone, my mother Won't be able to find me here Among the silent bodies Of my brothers, empty echoes Of my sisters, do not worry her. I won't be coming home." I'm going home, to where The rent's a little lower And the stars are blue like new Wallpaper. Nightclub floors Aren't too attractive, But here's the ground and There's the shooter active In his hunt, I press my nose To bloodied tiles, smell The smell of where my friends Were sitting. Now they're dead. How many times must hatred win? How many times must love begin To wilt a little more in places Long deprived of decency? How many friends do we Have to lose before we tear Open the battered closets, Let the young ones breathe For the first time in their lives? Do not force them into secret Clubs where namelessly they Lie in puddles because you were Ashamed your son liked other sons. Better to love like the universe loves The stars love the planets love the Winds love the waters love the cells Love the creatures love the plants love The people coming home everyday To loved ones of every color, creed, And crimson heart that beats in steady Rhythm with the movement Of the dying and the living. Stomp on broken lungs, broken Hearts, feeling every feeling Like a splash of cold fire Touches every nerve-ending, Sensitive songs in the raw, chafed Hands of a cruel world, taken Too soon before their parents Could ever learn who they were, Who they really were inside the Denim cutoffs, leather bracelets, Punk hairstyles memorialized Ad infinitum, to limitless infinity, To memories that can never stand For the real body, and they were real, They were real, they were Real, and they loved the love that Is more ancient than the stars, Far deeper than the earth, more Powerful than any gun or hate Can ever be. They loved the love Of living of loving of being one. Let us be one. Let us be one.

Sage is a Creative Writing undergraduate student at Elms College in Massachusetts. They work on and have been published in their campus' literary magazine, BLOOM. They received the Blue House Fellowship from Elms College. And this summer they participated in the Juniper Summer Writing Institute at the University of Massachusetts. They are a genderqueer student, struggling every day to make sense of why we continue to allow horrible atrocities like this shooting to happen to our brothers and sisters across the nation. Sage hopes this special edition will stand as a memorial to the ones we've lost, and a small testament of hope and celebration for the ones we've loved.

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