POEM: (In)human

For Nyanga, for Orlando, for Ceres, for Soho – for the aching heart of humanity
A poem in response to LGBTI+ hate crimes

You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
– Maya Angelou

You are hatred;
a waste product of bigoted beliefs.
The venom of which seeps through the ear of naivety,
preaching and perpetuating a culture of patriarchy –
a deadly disease.
You are the stench of senseless slayings,
maker of melancholia,
the heart black with rot.
You are the (sad)istic system
that delight in a mother’s torment.
The death-dealing hands of conviction.
You are the thief of pride,
of blooming futures.
Planter of sorrow,
seizing tomorrows.
You are the hazy horror that renders loved ones speechless,
the uninvited grief that enters without knocking.
You are the black cloud of despair hovering over a rainbow community,
a mark indelible.
You are the seed of loathing that must stop sprouting;
its roots removed so it can die.
That will meet its defeat at ruin’s edge,
perish of its own prejudice.

Ashraf Booley


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