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The Latina Book Club is honored to reprint Rudolfo Anaya’s new poem in memory of the 49 fallen in Orlando. 
Our prayers continue to be with the family and friends, and the LGBT Community at large.

“The Pulse of Life”

It was the twelfth of June
            another hot and humid Florida night.

In Orlando young people gathered at the
            Pulse Club, enjoying camaraderie, the
            dance floor pulsating with life,
            dancers moving to syncopated music,
            Latin rhythms, good will embraces,
            laughter, friendships, plans for
            tomorrow, flashing smiles releasing
            stress in silent motions.

Then the pulse of life ended.
            A man on fire came from a dark,
            twisted place, methodically spraying
            death, massacring our LGBT
            dancers who fell like cut flowers.

Pulses died in 49 bloodied wrists,
            blood pressures plunged to zero,
            juices of life that would never
            flow into the future stained
            the sad dance floor.

Shock spread across the country,
            across the world, enough grief
            to last many lifetimes.  Lost lives
            cannot be replaced.

Orlando pulled together, offering
            condolences and help.  From here
            we sent flor y canto, oraciones,
            flowers and poems, prayers.
            Left bereaved on this senseless
            plain, we wondered who killed the
            Golden Rule, Love Your Neighbor.

We mourn our fallen comrades, our
            gay sisters and brothers, and after
            grieving we march to tear down the
            barricades of hate, bigotry,
            prejudices.  We march to tear down
            walls that separate.

                                                ©2016 Rudolfo Anaya

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:  Rudolfo Anaya is a Mexican-American writer and educator, and Professor Emeritus of English at the University of New Mexico.  Anaya taught high school and college courses while writing novels with groundbreaking Chicano themes, and received acclaim for BLESS ME, ULTIMA (1972), HEART OF AZTLAN (1976) and TORTUGA (1979). He has received numerous literary awards, including the Premio Quinto Sol and a National Medal of Arts. He resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico.  His new book, THE SORROWS OF YOUNG ALFONSO, is out now from the Oklahoma University Press.  Visit them at