In the Head of a Victim

by IdTakeABulletForYou   Oct 18, 2017

Here, in this tumultuous world,
I have this truth that stands.
Just two things bring me happiness:
good music and my man.

We've shared a taste so similar,
I never could deny
that's what attracted me to him
before he caught my eye.

I recall as if yesterday
the music in the air,
a guitar riff and subtle twangs
from "somewhere over there."

I walked to where I heard the sound
and quite fancied the sight:
a shirtless man before the grill,
the smell such a delight.

Unsure if he was gay or not
I thought I'd take a chance
and get to know a splendid man
with whom one day I'd dance.

We bonded through a mixture of
liquor, video games,
country music, and line dancing,
before I learned his name.

Fast forward through a couple years,
I knew him to a T.
I spent my days thinking of him,
as he would think of me.

His cowboy hats and cowhide boots...
I slowly fell in love.
We'd camp and trek, and gaze at stars,
each night never enough.


" "We've" never left the state before,"
I said to him one night,
"I think it's something we should do,
and now is feeling right."

We searched online where we should go,
each destination called;
Our bank accounts held back our plans,
and for the time they stalled.

Perusing news, a week had passed,
I stumbled on an ad.
A festival in Las Vegas
-the artists weren't too bad.

I brought it up later that day,
and he thought it was fine.
A trip to Vegas, "sin city",
while we are in our prime.

We marked it on our calendar,
anticipation built.
Our first adventure out of state:
A country festival.

The tickets bought, the plane flight neared;
One hotel room, one bed.
I held him close the night before
and kissed him on the head.


He woke up in the morning with
a bright smile on his face.
Excitement filled the air so much
as we left the airspace.

He'd never been ten thousand feet
above the ground before;
his wide-eyed gaze of wonderment
I'll love forevermore.

The pilot called his passengers:
"If you could take your seat,
we're starting our descent right now.
Are you as thrilled as me?"

Jubilant and unanimous,
"Yes!" echoed through the plane.
We grabbed each other's hand so tight
that I could see my vein.


We spent our first night gambling
before the festival,
we ate fine food and drank cheap wine
until our livers filled.

We went to sleep at our hotel,
excited for the morn.
I held him in my arms that night
-- I'd never felt so warm.

Flashbacks started, reminiscing
of the busy day just past;
seeing him enjoy Sin City
and having such a blast.

Waking from our cuddled slumber,
I tussled with his hair
and kissed his cheek gently just as
I got up to prepare.


I sneaked some peeks as he got dressed
enamored at the sight.
I couldn't wait to kiss this man
under the moon tonight.

He wore his favorite cowboy hat,
dark brown with mild wear,
and had on boots, a belt buckle...
I couldn't help but stare.

"You sexy !@#$," I said to him,
and he gave me a grin.
We left the room to get some lunch
in the city of Sin.


The concert was an open field
and there weren't any seats,
we took our place amongst the crowd
and danced to country beats.

A slow song came, he looked my way
and I pulled him to me;
the crowd around us stared in shock,
yet we danced naturally.

I looked into his eyes that night,
the music far away,
professing love I'd felt so long.
Words I was meant to say.

He said to me, "I love you, too",
and we shared an embrace.
The moment played out perfectly,
a moment soon effaced.


Just as I leaned in for a kiss
under the shining moon,
I heard a pop so loud I thought
'That cannot be the tune.'

I looked around and others said
"We heard the sound as well",
but suddenly more pops followed
and near me someone fell.

I heard a scream, so shrill and loud,
I never will forget:

I grabbed my love as bullets whizzed,
pops deafeningly loud;
unsure just where the sounds came from,
we ran aside the crowd.

Chaos ensued as lights went out,
the song abruptly stopped;
I held onto my lover's hand
while we escaped the lot.

We looked behind us as we ran,
disturbed just by the sight;
the ground littered with phones and cups,
bodies shone in moonlight.

I said, "I don't know where to go,
what the !@#$ should we do?"
And in that moment my life changed
as his hand became loose.

I tightened my grip on his hand
but was met with dead weight.
I looked at him and cried for help,
but help would be too late.

The bullet passed right through his head,
and with it, through my heart.
I stood in shock and grabbed his hand,
unable to depart.

I fell onto my knees and shook
while trembling in dismay;
I would have stayed there by his side
but I was pulled away.

I fought the pull and stared at him,
my eyes widened in fright;
I couldn't process what I saw:
his body drained of life.

The last I ever saw of him,
he laid upon the grass;
his cowboy hat was soaked in red.
A stranger pulled me back.


Somehow that night I had been spared,
and he was stole away.
Someone so close, so dear to me
... I don't know what to say.

My love for him still knows no bounds.
This trauma felt is raw.
A night of fun turned to nightmare,
the worst I ever saw.

A natural love that felt so right,
it met unnatural end.
No bullet lodged inside my heart
and yet it will not mend.

The sound of bullets whizzing haunts,
I'm scared each waking morn.
We're helpless when the monsters play
and we can only mourn.

My logic seems stuck on the thought,
"I caused my lover's death."
I came up with the travel plans,
but did not know their breadth.

I'm scarred for life, and scatterbrained.
I don't know what to say.
I lived through hell, but still I'm here
living in hell today.


In memory of the 59 individuals who died and the hundreds wounded at the Oct 2017 "Route 91 Harvest Festival." In particular, 28 year old Cameron Robinson, whom this poem is inspired by, was a fellow gay male slain at the festival which he attended with his boyfriend, Bobby Eardley. Bobby Eardley survived.

In its entirety, this is a work of fiction.

I wrote this as a beacon, calling out to individual readers: Stop the suffering.



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Latest Comments

  • 2 years ago

    by Em

    In the Head of a Victim by IdTakeABulletForYou points 10
    ITABFY has a real consistency in his writing and even though this was long winded it doesn't steer from the thoughts at hand and also touched me as a reader which makes it in my opinion a fantastic piece. This made me emotional and think once again of all the lives lost all over the world in this tragic way. The piece itself was fluent and well rhymed throughout and showed the love people had for others that had sadly lost their lives in this cowardly way and it makes you realise how hard times are for those people and those who maybe didn't lose anyone but witnessed it first hand

  • 2 years ago

    by Jamila Richardson

    Congratulations on the win, you deserved it. Truly touching and well written, definitely looking forward to more of your work.

  • 2 years ago

    by Meena Krish

    Judging Comment

    This poem is penned from a victim’s point of view with all
    that love and anticipation of a relationship waiting to bloom.
    But, in one night all that is crushed. Words aren’t enough
    yet this poem had vivid images, feelings and the spot on
    rhymes made it real it was as if I was there witnessing it
    all. A heart breaking episode to live through and live with.

    • 2 years ago

      by IdTakeABulletForYou

      Thank you for your comment/vote Meena, and thank you for helping bring light to tragedy. Hopefully one day the world will be a safer place.


  • 2 years ago

    by Everlasting

    Congratulations on the win. The poem pulled me in.

  • 2 years ago

    by Kireasha L

    Congrats on your win!! This was deep and personal write, well spoken.

    • 2 years ago

      by IdTakeABulletForYou

      Thank you Kireasha, appreciate your time and thanks for reading!


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