night terrors

I got almost no sleep last night. And now, I’m not sure if I’ll sleep well for four years.

It’s not anger that keeps me awake (not that I’m not angry because I’m furious). It’s fear. I’m shaken by terror when I think about the targets painted on my back and on those I love. I think about the queer kids forced into conversion therapy and the trans people looking over their shoulder every time they use the restroom. I think about black communities who know that having their hands up won’t make a difference. I think about sexual assault survivors who are dragged through the mud but their attackers are given free passes and more. I think about my fellow latinos who are threatened with being pushed over a wall. I think about my Muslim boyfriend and how he had to walk around with brass knuckles after 9/11 in case he got jumped.

I’m terrified because people like us are no longer welcome here.

I’m terrified because I don’t who’s safe to turn my back to, because they might be one of the people who did this to us.

I’m terrified because I don’t know how we’ll survive this.


Published by Ren Martinez

Ren is a thirty-something Lost Boy whose personal aesthetic is “suspected of witchcraft by local villagers.” She subscribes to cheerful nihilism, the destruction of the patriarchy, and the belief that glitter makes everything better. She is a Richmond-based writer and performer who has fiction and non-fiction work found in a variety of publications, such as The Mary Sue, RVA Magazine, The Quotable, and Nostrovia Press. She is currently the fiction editor and a regular contributor at Quail Bell Magazine. She is also the co-host of the podcast, This F***ing Guy! Find out more at or read her dumbass tweets on Twitter @itsrenmartinez

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