In memory of Christopher Andrew “Drew” Leinonen, 32, murdered with his boyfriend, Juan Ramon Guerrero, 22, in the shooting at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, June 12, 2016. It was Latin night at Pulse & many of the 49 victims, like Guerrero, were Latinx. Leinonen, one of the last to be identified, was Asian American. This poem addresses Leinonen as Drew because that was the name he chose for himself.Dear Drew, It’s one year later. I search your name again& find a new picture of your mother.Holding up the bright shirtyou died in. Looking at the holes, those nineshots. Waiting for one more gleam of youto push through. Drew,I didn’t know you, but keep reading,rereading about you. Youwho shepherded friends & dates& maybe-I’m-not-100%-straight’sto their first gay club. You who danced, whoshenaniganed. You who all caps shouted GAYlike YES whenever someone triedto lower case snicker, are you…?You who worked as a counselor, who calledyour red pick-up truck The Flamer, who donneda floppy Santa hat for the gayestholiday picture with your boyfriend & mother, youwho were dancing with your boyfriend, Juan,then not, you who I keep readingabout until I keepseeing my face,my brothers’ facesin yours, you who gleamed. Drew, sometimes I dream youinto earlier that night, to the placeyou shared with Juan.You’re getting readywhile he eats a snack in the kitchen.You’re trying on a blue shirt, thinking maybenot. Then Juan comes into tease you for taking so long.His hand on your shoulder. Your hand,his beardy cheek. Then Juan saying yes,this shirt. Before the two of youstep out.Drew, each time I dream it, I slow it downa little more. You try onfive shirts. Eachwith different shoes.& Juan eats a very large bowlof Frosted Flakes.Then another touch,another touchof his cheek. But Drew, I don’t knowif you showed your tendernessthis way. & sometimes, there’s another partof me, a not-small part that returnsto your mother, instead of you.The way she holds your shirtwith the largest missing.Because I wonder, would my motherdo that for me?My mother who once said she wishes she neverhad me. My mother who still can’t sayyour boyfriend. But knowingmy mother, I can say she would holdit, even on the news, for everyone to see,because a not-small part of herwould rather miss methan listen to me,listen to me say again, I love him. Drew, what did you sayto the unlistening? To the heart that prefersa shineless shirt? All I know, Drew,is that I’ve searched, but no wordcould be radiantenough to grieve you.You who could’ve beena friend, you whomust’ve been my brother.//Note: This poem relies on the following sources — a tribute to Leinonen by his friend Catherine McCarthy, published in The Washington Post on June 18, 2016; an article by Melissa Chan published in Time Magazine on June 13, 2016; & articles in The Orlando Sentinel marking the one year anniversary of the shooting. In response to the attack, a group of Leinonen’s friends, along with his mother Christine, created an LGBTQ+ advocacy organization, The Dru Project. You can learn more about their mission & programs at thedruproject.org.