What Could Come Next

There were lives lost while people crouched in bathroom stalls,

Knowing

What could come next.

They could only text their mothers

While a gunman tested the nation.

We've seen it before.

We were—and are—waiting while

Knowing

That violence has been knocking, knocking at our stall door.

 

Now we are divided.

The targets of this hatred—countrymen who do not adhere to sexual norms—

Are not recognized by the media and beyond

As it's not a hate crime, and such experts, with a degree in communication,

Can't be wrong.

 

They did not grow

Knowing

How they would die.

They did not go

Knowing

How they would be eulogized.

These were people who danced, celebrated, and watched the sky.

These were people who seemed, as children, much like you and I.

These were people who only made the mistake of partying at a club

Where they found acceptance—now, there's the rub.

 

But where else should they have gone that night

To live as vibrantly as they had before?

Where would they finally be free from the hatred that ensued on that morning

As it has since the birth of this nation?

We have watched these people's lives taken before.

They've suffered from our nation's own

Rage against their existence.

In the past, we have folded our arms

And walked away when it was our countrymen beating, torturing, and killing

People like the Orlando victims.

Because the acronym LGBTQ is not what people hate.

Each letter is ingrained with the victims of that morning;

A group that some cannot understand.

So the ignorant settled for animosity.

This shooting was the product.

 

But to ignore the hypocrisy of preaching against a community

And then condemn the massacre

Is the same as

Crouching in a bathroom stall, hoping that the enemy might not come across you.

Our safety comes from unity, at the very least.

Otherwise, we accept defeat

And the violence that is to come.

These weapons the terrorists have... hostility and brutality...

Well, we all

Know

What could—

No, what will—

Come next.

More deaths.

Poetry Slam: 
This poem is about: 
My family
My community
My country
Our world
Guide that inspired this poem: 
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 

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