Orlando Strong

Forty-nine names of forty-nine lives lost.
I am not courageous.

As we stand here burning candles in the dark
I know that courage is refusing to let fear overtake you.

I think that I am not courageous because
I am hyper aware that at any moment
in this little town between the mountains
we could be shot for celebrating love.
I am letting the fear consume me.

I wonder, could I ever have been courageous enough
to come out as my true self, had I been born
slightly further on the spectrum?
And what about now, after the massacre?

The safe spaces are gone
but my friends vow to reclaim them
and all I can do is cry for the loss
and weep in awe of their courage.

-L