bullets in black heat

By Michele Rene
By Michele Rene

By Torrin A. Greathouse

for the victims in The Pulse

bass beat passes through crowd / like heartbeat through blood /
like bullet through chest / & on the right street close enough to
midnight / snare pops just like the barrel of a gun / & people
like us learned young not to walk alone / learned how easy
people like us die in the streets / & maybe this is why we feel
so safe in the dark //

until bullet breaks night / like thunder is only light breaking
breath / tonight, let us not call this pride / until we remember
the sound / of bodies falling / until we carry them on our backs
until we are a mountain of bones / bleaching in the sun //

until this world unlearns the irony / of bullets flying in black
heat / this place we called safety / this earthquake of bodies
like ours / this tight embrace / this night sweat we get to wake
up from / one day older / until we remember time is a currency
that sits heavier in our pockets then most //

until this world forgets the irony / of only caring for us when
we die [at someone else’s hands] / or that we are only worthy
of prayers / not meant to slice our gay away / when our time
has been already spent / on buying our own shadows / lined in
chalk / or that a gay man’s blood is unworthy to save a life /
but perfect to paint targets / on another people’s backs / as
though a bullet leaves a wound / that can only be treated with
more blood //

i refuse to call this pride / until our names stop finding their
way onto stone / too soon / until our names do not rhyme with
white flags burning / till a queer body is no longer an excuse
for killing a black body / or a brown body / or another queer
body / until we are more than bodies / before bodies are made
of us //

i will call this a pride parade
the day it stops being a funeral march.

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