Peterborough poet pens “50 Radical Acts of Love” in response to Orlando

 In News

This week Peterborough’s Electric City Magazine published a poem by Cathy Petch in response to the murder of people in a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. It’s the first in a series called Queer Voices on Orlando. Visit the magazine’s website to read more responses from the queer community.

flamenco-shoes-1024x74250 Radical Acts of Love

I want to write the poem
that will take 50 bodies
fallen on a Florida
gay dance bar floor
and turn them into something
other than
bullets to be put into
more guns

I avoid articles
where queer deaths are used
to fire at Islam
that would have us forget
our brothers and sisters and others
are Islamic
are every colour
and belief
and body

I want to hear the names
the stories
of those who found their way
to that club
who shook every bit of beautiful girth
who knew themselves to be radical acts
who wore their most flashy neon green
crop top
or tie
or inch higher heels
who tried on a bra for the first time
or swaggered into b-boy dance off
armed with only a grin and a binder

there is a war on love
the kind of love that
helps you glue an eyelash into place
that notices the shave cut
that likes your 1000th selfie
that calls you by the new name
you hold in your open carry heart

is any queer surprised when
they will only call you 50
will only call you mass murder
and terrorist act
your dance ready limbs
will disappear into the mouths
of politicians who would have never
stopped the sneer
at the outfit
you wore that night

They will turn your bodies bullet
they will have you locked and loaded
they will have you drone
they will burn countries down
before they ever take notice
of the ways they help murder you