By Clifton Snider

Today I grieve
for the 20-year-old
assaulted by teenagers
in Long Beach
across from the queer bar
so many years ago.

I grieve for my friends
and my ex-lover
who took pills with liquor to die,
who shot and gassed themselves.

I grieve for the countless others
who died
because a callous president
did nothing to provide
medicine and research,
to offer a safe place
to heal.

I grieve for brothers and sisters
in muggy Florida, celebrating
freedom to party, to dance,
to lust,
to love each other,
whose blood has been shed
by a man who beat his wife,
who loathed his own queer self,
who yielded to the voices
of sanctimonious hate
across the sea,
who could not bear
the sight of two men kissing
in a public park,
who purchased an AR-15
assault rifle,
a hand gun
with impunity
and practiced hate
where there was love.

(featured image “Moon Man” by Esmeralda Villalobos)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: