August 3, 2016
LGBTQ Poets Respond to the Pulse Nightclub Shooting
I thought you lost sleep
over the reputation you lost the day I came out
bemoaning the dirt la comadre
now had on you
I thought you refused to see
that this dirt spawned an orchard
its fruit sweeter than the stuff you picked and sorted
no weeds to be found
enough flowers to weave crowns out of.
Now I see
you worried that one day
my whistle that marked the workday's end
would not come
the orchard torched
You didn't say
but I know Orlando kept you awake
hearing Spanish names
maybe mine tomorrow
You bent down
to stroke my hair
me pretending I'm still asleep
you wishing I slept
in the safety of your womb instead.
Oswaldo Vargas is a Michoacán native raised in California's Central Valley, and is studying History and Human Rights at the University of California, Davis. Previous work of his has appeared in the first issue of La Concencia de UC Davis, The Brillantina Project and will appear in the forthcoming IMANIMAN: Anzaldúa Poetic Anthology.
"Immediately upon learning of Orlando, I made a Facebook status that read like so: 'What a feeling, to wake up and have one of my worst fears I've held since I was 14 and out in the world realized (yet again): that, at the most fundamental level, you are unsafe.' This event brought up feelings of urgency, feelings that my parents must have felt as well. They would never express it, but I imagined my mother wanting nothing more than to have me in her womb again, safe from this post-Orlando world. Hence, my contribution to this issue."
Glass: A Journal of Poetry is published weekly by Glass Poetry Press.
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