Poet and novelist Collin Kelley and the Georgia Center of the Book are hosting a memorial poetry reading Friday, June 24 for the victims of the massacre in Orlando. The event is called #Don’tStopKissing, and is meant to show solidarity, support, and love for the LGBTIQ community and the families of the victims.
The quotes in the poem I wrote come from an article on NPR that shares some memories about each of the victims who lost their lives on June 12. To read their stories is devastating. These young people could have been our sons, daughters, brothers, sister, nieces, nephews, friends.
The older brother of victim Amanda Alvear says about his sister, “She’d rather they spread more love, keep friends and family close, and have a good time doing it.”
As Anderson Cooper said in his CNN broadcast, his voice breaking with emotion, “They are more than a list of names. They were people who loved and were loved. ”
For the Victims Who Died on Latino Night At Pulse, 12 June 2016
I want to remember you
In some eternal before
Before a mother on the dance floor
Sees the gunman
Commands her son to get down on the floor, Isaiah
Covers him with her body
Before a mother in Sunday darkness cries
They’re killing our babies
I want to remember your fingertips
Brushing the pulse of night
I want to remember you swaying
Under laser lights
Face and arms glowing indigo, pink
I want to remember you salsa
Remember you cumbia
Remember you merengue
Remember you danzón
I want to remember you alegre
Remember you samba
Remember you bachata
Remember you reguetón.
I want to remember you selling perfume
Remember you drag queen
Remember you drag king
Remember you student
Remember you father
I want to remember you arm in arm with your sweetheart
Skin smooth as orchids
Remember you bougainvillea
Remember you gardenia
Remember you jacaranda
Remember you beautiful
They were so beautiful
2 thoughts on “#Don’tStopKissing”
Christine, I have been so upset over the Pulse shooting–I know these shootings “happen all the time,” but this one and the one at the Emmanuel African Episcopal Church, and the elementary at Sandy Hook, have wrecked me. I really worry for this world. Thank you for your poem–the language of poetry is always powerful, and will always be a source of strength for us. (Of course, it would be great if our leaders would take a stand too–but that seems hopeless these days.) Peace and Poetry, jc.
I know, JC. You wrote so eloquently about the need for stronger gun control laws. Poetry is needed now more than ever.