Poems for Pride

Happy Pride Month, #ScribeTribe. Today has been a very solemn one. Despite being a time where we celebrate who we are proudly and bravely, every moment as a queer person isn’t always as cheerful. Tonight, we remember the 49 lives lost at Pulse Nightclub in Orlando one year ago from hatred, intolerance, and senseless violence. Reflecting on the night of that made many of us that identify as LGBTQ shudder with fear, heartbreak and more nervousness than we can fully describe, beginning with myself and my cohort in ink, Willie Kinard, we at FTS will be sharing a few Poems for Pride this week to continue to remember the strength of the rainbow.

PoemsforPride1


[One year ago today, I lazily opened my Twitter having just woken up from sleeping in to discover that 49 Latinx and Black queer family members had been taken from us in the dark of night at Pulse in Orlando. Two nights prior, after a night that seemingly could only have been created by my dreams, walking from Beyonc’s Formation Tour performance at M&T Bank Stadium in Baltimore, a man scoffed at the sight of me and my boyfriend walking hand in hand.
Casual homophobia begets violence.]

 

Scoffs

Joseph the Poet

 

He scoffed at us

After we had just had the most magical night together yet

One of thousands to come

He scoffed at us

 

He scoffed

At the beauty of my boyfriend’s hand

finding refuge in mine
,

Of him finding his home

As close to my heart as possible

Some people have problems

appreciating beauty I suppose

 

It makes me wonder

What his life is like

If he’s ever held anyone’s hand

If hearing his name in someone’s mouth

Made him feel safe

 

2 mornings later

I awoke next to him

The bright morning sun

Matching the alabaster of his skin

As it peaked through the blinds

Only a few hours prior

We lost family members

49 of them

Stolen from us

And suddenly I feel not so safe

 

I didn’t know anyone

But I know someone who knows someone

Who knew someone

There are a lot of us

But there’s still not so many of us

 

The list of things I’m allowed to do

As a black person

As a queer person

Forever grows shorter

I wonder about the man who scoffed at us

I wonder if when he woke up that Sunday

What he felt

Culpability
,

Apathy,

Distance
,

I wonder if he felt anything

I wonder if he felt responsible

I wonder if he knows

How easily his scoff

Could have been something more

Or how easily his scoff

Could have been something less

Or how easily his scoff

Could have just stayed silence

 

I wonder if I’ll ever again

be able to differentiate

scoffs from gunshots


Aftertaste

Willie Kinard

 

Little Black Sugar Cube,

your words resonate so loudly,

the cosmos vibrates in tandem with your inflections,

the heavens sway with stars in their hands aglow,

humming melodies counterpoint to yours.

 

I pray you sing a song tonight.

I pray you sing of love tonight.

I pray you sing of hate tonight.

I pray you sing of fear tonight.

I pray you sing of hope tonight.

I pray you sing of death tonight.

I pray you wail.

 

I pray it loudly.

So they can’t turn away.

So they can’t ignore you.

So they can’t erase you.

So they can’t dismiss you.

So they can’t bury you

underneath the weight

of the words that

you let lie dormant.

 

I pray the stove be ready.

I pray the eye be red.

I pray the tea be hot.

I pray the water be hotter.

I pray the sugar be deadly.

 

I pray the coma be strong.

I pray the aftertaste be sweet.

I pray the needle be dull.

I pray the medics be slow.

I pray the body be hurt.

 

I pray the heart be widow.

I pray the mind be coroner.

I pray the soul be witness.

 

I pray your dreams be rainbow.

I pray your words be golden.

I pray your deeds be black.

 

I pray your life be impact.

I pray your life be power.

I pray your life be peace.

 

I pray your life be loved.

I pray your life be lived.

I pray your life be long.

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