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The night poetry danced with us

By Amal Rana

Orlando 49
emblazoned on the back of a t-shirt
worn by a white queer
who looked through and past
our table of Latinx, Indigenous, Black, Muslim queers
right in front of her
as if we never existed
as if we were not sitting there
laughing and thriving
radiating life
insistent in our brown, black, mixed skinned existence
as if we were not the brilliance of the sun streaking fire
when it decides to go down on the horizon
as if you were not our queer siblings
familia yaars dildars
our amours our pyars
our everything
shaking beautiful bronzed hips
the night poetry danced with us
before being shot
the night poetry danced with us
before being assumed to be a shooter
the night poetry danced with us
before it became second nature
to check for exits
the night poetry danced with us
before bullets replaced stanzas
before the breath of our beloveds
became a line break
with too much finality
the night poetry danced with us
before we understood
some only value our lives
after we are gone
the night poetry danced with us
until we realized
we were the poem




Listen as Amal Rana reads, "The night poetry danced with us."

Added: Tuesday, June 4, 2019  /  From "Pulse/Pulso: In Remembrance of Orlando," (Damaged Goods Press, 2018). Used with permission.
Amal Rana
Photo by Erv Newcombe.

Amal Rana is a queer Pakistani poet, teaching artist, multidisciplinary performer, and Muslim futurist. Her writing has appeared in multiple journals and anthologies, including: Pulse/Pulso: In Remembrance of Orlando, Room Magazine, Canadian Theatre Review, Arc Poetry Magazine, Adrienne: A Poetry Journal for Queer Women, Writing the Walls Down: A Convergence of LGBTQ Voices, Glass: A Journal of Poetry, The Feminist Wire, and more. In a time when even breathing while being Muslim can be considered a crime, Amal views poetry as a tool for collective liberation. She has received fellowships from VONA: Voices of Our Nation and the Banff Centre, amongst others. She works with multiple communities to vision decolonial futures through the arts. Find out more about her work at her website.

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