After the Orlando shootings, Larry, a black gay male, wrote this Ode to Orlando as a way to try to work through his devastation. I offer it here because in writing, we share, we heal, we find hope, and we fight for change.
An Ode to Orlando
by Larry Buckhannon
Conditioned to think the world hates you,
You find solace among those who feel safe.
Drinks, music, and Snapchat videos with the crew
Explode as you cling to the ground with hands chafed.
Everyone around you is dropping like flies,
The smell of the ammo clouds your mind
The screams, the pleads, the sorrowful cries
The glee on his face, as each victim he finds.
Horrific, yes, but it’s a wake-up call—
This senseless loss of innocent lives
Of fifty loved ones should unite us all.
There needs to be a ban on guns nationwide.
For there cannot be change unless we fight
Against the evils, the killing, and especially the fright.
*Larry is a graduating senior. Although he walked in Commencement 2 weeks ago, his last class at John Jay College is my summer online Introduction to Creative Writing.