The Summer of Mourning

by TaneshaNicole

is the same summer in which I hear
“Orlando” and “Charleston” knowing
neither one of these cities were meant to be final resting places
but both hold stolen spirits.

It is the summer of attending two vigils for the same horror
because the first one didn’t do the community justice.
It is the summer of unrest.
The summer of another media erasure.
Of dancing around the words “hate crime”

There is something so bitter about leaving a vigil
three days after the tragedy we’ll call ‘Pulse’.
In which you are full of something
other than your own grief.
Only to awake the next mourning
to the anniversary of another mass shooting.
Another reminder of my own mortality

And is it not ironic that the day
after the day we call tomorrow
is one of celebration
of Black Independence
though this community has been struck
with more violence than peace
since being ‘liberated’.

Or how I wish to hold those I love close,
but realize that we’re safer across state lines
than congregated in a space made
sacred by our very existence?

My partner confesses she told me
she liked me after realizing that
by the time she thought it to be
the right time it could be too late
because I am both black and queer.
She tells me she realizes 

how each gathering for healing
could so quickly become a wake
in which we scream their names
and hope someone would say ours
even if just to hear their own voice
should any of us make it out alive

Yet, last night, I felt so alive
taking the risk of dancing
in the open with other
bodies and skin that looked like mine.
this radical form of healing.
Reclaiming the spaces they want
to destroy.

How in those moments
we forgot about the hurt
in our bones.
And could only exist in that which
we made holy.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: