The Brillantina Project

Dear Omar Mateen

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For the LGBTQIA community

You killed 49 inured 53, took the life out of me just before the start of summer, the 9k in jewelry you bought a week before, the plane tickets you secured for your wife & father: all for what? The way you were always mad as a kid, always saying crazy shit, always staring at the other boys in the locker rooms wishing you could be their gym shorts, brushing against hips & ass, the way you grew up & fooled around here & there, getting an HIV scare: I will kill Latino men. But now my dear, you are googled, plastered on every Facebook wall, on every tweet we tweet, on every flat-screen across America, your tender tender eyes hide behind sweet sweet hate. I get you Omar Mateen, your Grindr curiosity, your nervous laugh slipping through white teeth, your smooth hands, neck & lips. I get you Omar Mateen, the frustration of living in-be-tween, not knowing if you’re clean, the extra cream you add in your dark roast. But my dear Omar Mateen, why did you have to kill my rainbow family?


Luis Lopez-Maldonado

Luis Lopez-Maldonado is a Xicano poet choreographer born & raised in Orange County, CA. He earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California Riverside, majoring in Creative Writing and Dance. His poetry has been seen in The American Poetry Review, Cloudbank, The Packinghouse Review, Off Channel, and Spillway, among many others. He earned a Master of Arts degree in Dance from Florida State University. He is now currently a candidate for the Master of Fine Arts degree in Creative Writing at the University of Notre Dame, where he is poetry editorial assistant for the Notre Dame Review and founder of the boys’s creative writing workshop in the St. Joseph County Juvenile Justice Center.

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