When I first found out about Orlando, all I could think was, “It’s happening again.” There was no shock at the fact the murders happened. They happen, on a smaller scale, every day. Dread, yes. Crushing grief, yes. Fear, and a sense of how frail any perceived security is in the face of everyday hate, yes.
As the day has gone on, however, that fear and grief have strengthened, and with them has come anger and exhaustion. Every day, violence hits minorities in our communities. This senseless act of hate was inspired by nothing more than sexuality and race.
How many more tomorrows like this must hit before we learn to accept those who are different than us? How many more body bags will be filled with gay and POC and trans lives? How long until a body bag closes over my own head?
Still, I will shine. I will shine for the lights that were cut short in Orlando. I will shine for my dead brothers and sisters of every hate crime. I will sparkle so fucking bright that all the people who follow me into the bathrooms with threats and fists will be blinded. I will shine with the fierce love we all deserve, until the whole world shines along with me.
But it still won’t bring the dead back.
When I was a wee tyke of 3-4 years old, I used to love to play doorbell ditch. Doorbell ditch is a game where you ring someone’s doorbell and run away before they open it.
I thought it was lots of fun, and played it constantly. Looking back, though, my grasp of the concept was a little weak. If I could go back in time, I think I’d give younger me these three valuable tips:
- Don’t always pick your own doorbell to ring and run. Though they may pretend otherwise, your parents are used to it and know it’s you.
Don’t hide in the same place every single time. Your hiding place has been discovered. Run for different cover.
Silence is a virtue, at least when it comes to hiding. Hold the giggles in until you’re found. Then you’re free to fall over laughing as many times as you want.
Sadly, I was not as innovative at terrifying my parents at that age as I became in the ensuing years. On the bright side, time teaches all.
I can’t fall in love like memories merging.
I only know how to intertwine limbs, not lives.
In your dreams, I was your miracle unwinding:
your favorite glimpse of the afterlife.
I don’t believe in heaven or gods or forever
just in the moments when our touch ignites.
I don’t know what romance sparks in you, darling
I only know I’m watching you say goodbye
I remember the first time we fell together
but not as well as the first time we matched minds
Still, you don’t want friendship with a side of good times
You want me, and I want my own life
I can’t pretend that I won’t miss you
But I also can’t pretend that I can change
I don’t know what this merging is you speak of
But I’m happy enough as me each and every day
If that’s not enough, don’t stay.