Pulse, or, Self-Care After Tragedy
 
(cn: the Pulse Nightclub massacre)

What right do I have to a filling meal

when fifty in Orlando

will never eat again?

What right do I have to a peaceful sleep

when fifty in Orlando

will never dream again?

What right do I have to a lively night

when fifty in Orlando

will never love again?


That's all we ever want:

to eat, to dream, to love,

freely, as ourselves.


Surely the survivors,

the injured, the lucky ones,

count among their number

some who left the closet

on a stretcher,

bleeding.


Think how horrible

the blood of queer men

and trans women

is not good enough to donate

even to save the lives

of queer men

and trans women.


Think how horrible

the din of endless

cell phone ringtones

of desperate family

wishing hoping praying

their loved one

would pick up,

when he is one of

fifty in Orlando who

will never live again.


Surely the survivors,

we who weren't there,

can live a little for them,

the ones who were,

and are,

and will be evermore.


This is all we ever want:

to eat, to dream, to love,

freely, as ourselves.


What right have I to turn away

a filling meal

when fifty in Orlando

will never eat again?

What right have I to turn away

a peaceful sleep

when fifty in Orlando

will never dream again?

What right have I to turn away

a lively night

when fifty in Orlando

will never love again?