The Pulse of Life
It was the twelfth of June
another hot and humid Florida night.
In Orlando young people gathered at the
Pulse Club, enjoying camaraderie, the
dance floor pulsating with life,
dancers moving to syncopated music,
Latin rhythms, good will embraces,
laughter, friendships, plans for
tomorrow, flashing smiles releasing
stress in silent motions.
Then the pulse of life ended.
A man on fire came from a dark,
twisted place, methodically spraying
death, massacring our LGBT
dancers who fell like cut flowers.
Pulses died in 49 bloodied wrists,
blood pressures plunged to zero,
juices of life that would never
flow into the future stained
the sad dance floor.
Shock spread across the country,
across the world, enough grief
to last many lifetimes. Lost lives
cannot be replaced.
Orlando pulled together, offering
condolences and help. From here
we sent flor y canto, oraciones,
flowers and poems, prayers.
Left bereaved on this senseless
plain, we wondered who killed the
Golden Rule, Love Your Neighbor.
We mourn our fallen comrades, our
gay sisters and brothers, and after
grieving we march to tear down the
barricades of hate, bigotry,
prejudices. We march to tear down
walls that separate.
©2016 Rudolfo Anaya
Rudolfo Anaya is Professor Emeritus of English at the University of New Mexico, and author of numerous books including the classic Bless Me Ultima and more recently Poems from the Rio Grande. He has received myriad literary awards, including the Premio Quinto Sol and a National Medal of Arts. All photos used under the “fair use” proviso of the copyright law.