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Julian Randall shares a poem he wrote in the aftermath of the Pulse shooting.

Brought to you by Complexly, The Poetry Foundation, and poet Paige Lewis. Learn more: https://www.poetryfoundation.org/

Julian Randall:
http://www.costuracreative.com/julian-randall.html

Poem:
On the Night I Consider Coming Out to My Parents by Julian Randall (2018)
Read from Refuse: https://upittpress.org/books/9780822965602/

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My name is Julian Randall and I'll be reading my poem "On the night I consider coming out to my parents", which I wrote in the aftermath of the Pulse shooting.

On the Night I Consier Coming Out to My Parents

I am afraid, of something I am, but have never named.  My tongue is
a refuge for secrets.  How does one still fear banishments if they were
born an exile?  There's blood on the ground, no time remains so I'll
lay it flat: I am Black and Dominican and Bisexual.  There.  If I die
now, you'll have a hint for which god to petition.  Sometimes I look
at a man and my hands are already digging into the small country of
his back.  In this way, the body is a distraction from what can make
the body just a memory.  My lips could bring a man's blood to the 
surface; my mother raised a curse and gave it her face.  I am afraid to
belong to another thing, to become still more no man's land.  I am a
trench; nobody comes to clear the dead.  Somewhere, my mother is
 gripping a rosary to pray for men who look like me.  Somewhere, my
mother is praying for me.  I do not want to give her something else to
worry about.  I am quiet, I bury no one, blood is drying beneath my
nails, I do not know which me it belongs to.