HIV Mon Semblable, Mon Frère
If I get infected, will racial justice prevail
(blue cornflower against a coiled green garden hose)
If my rectum is soaked in venereal seed
will it burrow down to China
wash away the smog
like your mother’s cigarette ashes down the toilet bowl?
If I love you really love you with all my mouth & soul
will they tear down the checkpoints along the Gaza Strip
will they strip away the veneer of privacy
will they beat my private parts with a wire hanger
until all is clean and pure and good
and all infection dies
all infected are washed away
all diseased are clean
drug and disease free
Ivy League Seven Sisters
Say shibboleth tell them you are my sister
Carry me into the safety of a demilitarized zone
the love of a mother’s arms
the love of a father who loves me till it hurts
Michael Broder is the author of the collections Drug and Disease Free (forthcoming from Indolent Books, 2016) and This Life Now (A Midsummer Night’s Press, 2014), a finalist for the 2015 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. His poems have appeared in American Poetry Review, Assaracus, BLOOM, Columbia Poetry Review, Court Green, OCHO, Painted Bride Quarterly, and other journals, as well as in the anthologies This New Breed: Gents, Bad Boys and Barbarians 2 (Windstorm Creative, 2004), edited by Rudy Kikel; My Diva: 65 Gay Men on the Women Who Inspire Them (Terrace Books, 2009), edited by Michael Montlack; Spaces Between Us: Poetry, Prose and Art on HIV/AIDS (Third World Press, 2010), edited by Kelly Norman Ellis and ML Hunter; Divining Divas: 50 Gay Men on Their Muses (Lethe Press, 2012), edited by Michael Montlack, and Multilingual Anthology: The Americas Poetry Festival of New York 2015 (Artepoética Press, 2015), edited by Carlos Aguasaco and Yrene Santos. He lives in Brooklyn with his husband, the poet Jason Schneiderman, and a backyard colony of stray and feral cats.
This poem is not previously published.