for the murdered and wounded of Orlando

The end of Derek Jarman’s memoir At Your Own Risk:

I’m alone again. I sit watching the sun go down, peach as my grandmother’s table-cloth behind the nuclear power station. A great orange moon hangs over the sea and the winds die bringing in the night.

LOVE

Everyone suddenly burst out singing;
And I was filled with such delight
As prisoned birds must find in freedom
Winging wildly across the white
Orchards and dark-green fields; on – on – and out of sight.

Everyone’s voice was suddenly lifted;
And beauty came like the setting sun;
My heart was shaken with tears; and horror
Drifted away… O, but Everyone
Was a bird; and the song was wordless; and the singing will never be done.

Siegfried Sassoon’s poem was written at the end of the First World War.

I am tired tonight. My eyes are out of focus, my body droops under the weight of the day, but as I leave you Queer lads let me leave you singing. I had to write of a sad time as a witness – not to cloud your smiles – please read the cares of the world that I have locked in these pages; and after, put this book aside and love. May you of a better future, love without a care and remember we loved too. As the shadows closed in, the stars came out.

I am in love.

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