Wednesday, May 19, 2021

New Poetry by Bernardo Villela

Memorializing Alireza

In an honor killing 
honor dies with the martyred,
nothing’s restored only taken;
left in its blooded wake grief and hate.

His name should be known.
His photo displayed
indicator of a future robbed,
of hate alive and well. 

In some nations equality 
needs fighting for,
in other nations it is 
a dream yet unattained. 

“We finished him off,”
his stepbrother said
to his mother as if
her son were a hit;
a life expendable,
bereft of significance and value
because of the shape of his love,
because who he was meant to be.

A mother left without a child,
a boyfriend without his other half,
because he was taken by a violent ideal,
dumped under a tree, like refuse.

A nation that outs its youth,
branding them mentally ill
for breaking heteronormative molds,
needs the world as loudspeakers for the voiceless. 

Needs the world to
lend our voice, 
lend our support,
lend our ears,
lend our eyes, 

Needs the world to
to see the struggle,
to offer help,
to draw attention,
to ride the wave.

The tumult of injustice
humanity wades through
cannot be overcome in
a straight line. 

Breakers will often return
threatening to swallow us,
to drown us down,
but we swim on
crying for help.

Alireza has been taken
by unforgiving hateful currents.
We who understand and remain
must swim on and shout his name.

Alireza Fazeli Monfared.
Now gone, now memorialized,
a testament to a rising pride
battling a hateful tide.

- © Bernardo Villela 2021

Bernardo Villela has had poetry published by Entropy and Zoetic Press. He’s had fiction published with Coffin Bell Journal, The Dark Corner Zine, 101 Proof Horror, A Monster Told Me Bedtime Stories, Page & Spine You can read more about these and various other pursuits at 

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