There’s always someone
that wants to shred the smiles
from our faces as easily
as you can rip this paper.

There’s always someone
that will vote for an all-Republican ticket,
hug us tightly,
and tell us we’re loved
while wearing their “I voted” sticker
without realizing the betrayal.

There’s always someone
that wants to see us breathe
our last breath. Yes.
There’s always someone
that wants us dead—
dreams about our deaths
more than winning the lottery.

There’s always someone
that will dispute everything
I’ve written so far in this poem,
roll their eyes and/or mutter:
It isn’t that bad for y’all these days.

six years,
five months,
and four days
to the day
after Pulse Nightclub—
an armed man entered Club Q
opening fire on patrons.
Five dead.
Many injured.
Damage. Unquantifiable.

I keep hearing
how we were attacked
again in our safe space.
Attacked in our safe space.
Attacked     in     our     safe     space.

My god,
why isn’t every space
our precious bodies inhabit

About the Poem

As a member of the LGBTQIA+ community, “Always” comes from a place of sorrow and anger.

About the Author

Dustin Brookshire (he/him) is the curator of the Wild & Precious Life Series and founder/editor of Limp Wrist. He is the author of the chapbooks Love Most Of You Too (Harbor Editions, 2021) and To The One Who Raped Me (Sibling Rivalry Press, 2012). Dustin is an editor, along with Julie E. Bloemeke, of the forthcoming Let Me Say This: A Dolly Parton Poetry Anthology (Madville Publishing). Dustin is online at

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