This weekend was already challenging and full of directional changes on a personal level, and then Orlando went and eclipsed everything. I haven’t stopped crying since it really hit me Sunday afternoon, so I wrote this fairly bad poem. I hope it helps, maybe, a little.
If you are reading this, please consider donating to the Pulse Victims’ GoFundMe, or donate your blood or your time or at least your psychic energy. This is such a massive loss — not just for Orlando or Florida or America or the LGBT community, but for us. People.
The sun’s been haloed
in clouds all day, looking poisonous.
I don’t know why I missed my flight,
I just did – pulled into and out of the airport
parking garage like water. I had a bad feeling,
so I skittered on home like a child. Sure enough,
my mom was sick again. After, I drove down
through the heart of Orlando, saw
all the signs still advertising
roller coaster rides, selling false fear
where so much real has been heaped, unasked-for.
Of course they’re still there, those signs.
But the small and ominous ones give it away:
the bright orange EXIT CLOSED
at Kaley, the digital billboard
whose dark cityscape and useless hashtag
are followed by a McDonald’s ad, as usual.
The disembodied voices
on the radio politicize, as if there’s any way
to make sense of it; anything to make sense of:
an anger big enough to blot out fifty lives –
to drink and dance and be themselves.
On Saturday night, I’d been dancing, too;
I woke up late in a lovers’ arms I’d been avoiding.
We fed each other roses, and although
we came home early, he said I would not wake
and held me for hours until my body let me out, to see.
Today, I make it through unscathed, so sunk in it
the flaming car on eastbound I4 barely even registers.
I climb the stairs to see the cockroaches whose bodies
disintegrate in the hallways where they lie,
because it is June in Florida and my apartment isn’t that nice.
I launder everything; I sweep behind the fridge.
I scrub and scrub but cannot get the sadness out.