Poem by Pulse Massacre Survivor Patience Carter

“The guilt of feeling grateful to be alive is heavy.
Wanting to smile about surviving but not sure if the people around you are ready.
As the world mourns, the victims killed and viciously slain,
I feel guilty about screaming about my legs in pain.
Because I could feel nothing like the other 49 who weren’t so lucky to feel this pain of mine.
I never thought in a million years that this could happen.
I never thought in a million years that my eyes could witness something so tragic.
Looking at the souls leaving the bodies of individuals,
looking at the killer’s machine gun through out my right peripheral.
Looking at the blood and debris covered on everyone’s faces.
Looking at the gunman’s feet under the stall as he paces.
The guilt of feeling lucky to be alive is heavy.
It’s like the weight of the ocean’s walls crushing uncontrolled by levies.
It’s like being drug through the grass with a shattered leg and thrown on the back of a Chevy.
It’s like being rushed to the hospital and told you’re gonna make it
when you laid beside individuals whose lives were brutally taken.
The guilt of being alive is heavy.”

Editor’s note: Most of the victims were gay people of color, many Puerto Rican and Latin American.

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