the pulse of terror | Erika Gisela Abad

when it’s unclear where to start or how.

The first time eyes, like yours,

linger too long to keep what’s going on a secret–

The secrets that ‘saved’ you from beatings, from bullies.


When the truths snatched, the secrets exposed,

are lives that cannot be recovered

Or replaced. lives that do not deserve

more bloodshed in their name


Are there enough rainbows to hide cemeteries’ gray?


“love conquers hate!” we shout

love conquers hate, we grieve.

Names, faces, candles collect–

love conquers hate, between tears, we insist.

As the chorus repeats, the heart gives, strained and sore,

the heart doesn’t want to take it all.


Amidst what changes love demands,

Terror becomes too much,

Because it can cost a brother,

It can cost a warrior

It can cost us all.


Erika Gisela Abad, Merced, Ph.D, is a Queer Latina poet, born and raised in Chicago. She has contributed to blogs such as Mujeres TalkThe Feminist WireBlack Girl Dangerous. Her poetry has been published in such journals as DialogoMujeres de Maiz as well as online zines like La Respuesta. You can follow her @lionwanderer531. She blogs at

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