i fight for them | Isis Nelson


for our brothers and sisters killed and injured at Pulse on 6/12/16



the flowing, ruby red blood of our siblings runs down the streets /
nothing is clean, pure, or unstained /


there’s no beauty in what we’re experiencing now /
i cannot make eloquent lines and stanzas out of tragedy, i’m afraid /


i am all too familiar with hate crimes /
everything is dirtied here; hell, even washington D.C. is bloodied /

(after all, our country was built by slaves) /


first, it was the AIDS epidemic /
now, it’s gun violence /


i am tired of watching helplessly as my people die /
no tears leak out of my eyes, they never did /
after a while, mass shootings become almost-normal to you /
they’re just another thing that happens in the U.S. /


why are “safety” and “freedom” just words here? /
why do they have to kill us? /


love won last year, but now hate obliterates /
why do they have to destroy us? /


my hands are covered in scarlet /
why do they have to hurt us? /


i’m so scared to just live as myself /
vulnerability is my forte, i have no wealth /

i’m not white, male, or straight /
i only attract more hate /


my very existence is an act of rebellion /
how much longer will i have to revolt? /
fighting is exhausting /
is equality even possible anymore? /


you can bow your head, clasp your hands, and sing a hymn /
whatever god you’re praying to either doesn’t care or never existed in the first place /


i don’t want holy blessings or protections /

i want change; real, visible, palpable, positive progress /

it is degrading to feel like a second-class citizen /


everyone is equal, and yet: no, we’re not /
not in the eyes of the law, at least /


i’ve been in a state of mourning all week /
i don’t why i can’t stop hurting /
i didn’t know the dead victims, don’t know the recovering ones /


despite everything, every individual loss feels like a punch to the stomach /


we have lost so many siblings /
the very thought of their bodies, all broken and slack, makes me sick /


in these coming years, we’ll all need something to fight for /
equality is not so easily won; it will take a while and cost more strength than most have /
all is not lost, however, because we have people to remember /
people that refresh the outrage and pure anger /


so, when they ask: “what keeps you motivated? who are you fighting for?” /


i’ll respond: “Akyra Monet Murray, Alejandro Barrios Martinez, Amanda Alvear, Mercedez Marisol Flores, Angel L. Candelario-Padro, Anthony Luis Laureano Disla, Antonio Davon Brown, Brenda Lee Marquez McCool, Christopher Joseph Sanfeliz, Cory James Connell, Darryl ‘DJ’ Roman Burt II, Deonka Deidra Drayton, Eddie Jamoldroy Justice, Edward Sotomayor Jr., Enrique L. Rios, Jr, Eric Ivan Ortiz Rivera, Frank Hernandez, Franky Jimmy Dejesus Velazquez, Geraldo A. ‘Drake’ Ortiz-Jimenez, Gilberto Ramon Silva Menendez, Jason Benjamin Josaphat, Javier Jorge-Reyes, Jean C. Nieves Rodriguez, Jean Carlos Mendez Perez, Jerald Arthur Wright, Joel Rayon Paniagua, Jonathan Antonio Camuy Vega, Juan Chevez-Martinez, Juan Pablo Rivera Velazquez, Juan Ramon Guerrero, Christopher Andrew Leinonen, Kimberly Morris, Leroy Valentin Fernandez, Luis Daniel Conde, Luis Daniel Wilson-Leon, Luis Omar Ocasio-Capo, Luis S. Vielma, Martin Benitez Torres, Miguel Angel Honorato, Oscar A. Aracena-Montero, Simon Adrian Carrillo Fernandez, Paul Terrell Henry, Peter O. Gonzalez-Cruz, Rodolfo Ayala-Ayala, Shane Evan Tomlinson, Stanley Almodovar III, Tevin Eugene Crosby, Xavier Emmanuel Serrano Rosado, and Yilmary Rodriguez Solivan. i fight for them” /


Isis Nelson is a 15-year-old writer, poet, aspiring activist, and student in Pennsylvania. She writes about human rights, intersectional feminism, politics, and composes prose/poetry in her free time. She blogs at isisnelson.wordpress.com, while writing for Affinity Magazine, editing for Siblíní Literary and Art Magazine, and contributing to Moviejawn.

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