Poem 84 ± August 27, 2015

Raymond Berry

cd4 normalizes, cells quit attacking own
weight returns, cheeks become full
no night sweats or brown-stained sheets
every scar fades
limbs less numb
strength comes back full
meals eaten without releasing, coffee without gas
all because of one injection
magic liquid needled under flesh
scarecrows return to human
touch once more without the prayer
leave toothbrush and razor next to sink
no separate china for family visits
because we are who we were
before death erased us

Raymond BerryRaymond Berry is the author of Diagnosis (Wasteland Pres, 2010). His poems have appeared in WarpLand, Reverie, and other journals, as well as in the anthologies To Be Left with the Body,(AIDS Project Los Angeles, 2008), edited by Cheryl Clarke and Steven G. Fullwood, and Spaces Between Us: Poetry, Prose and Art on HIV/AIDS (Third World Press, 2010), edited by Kelly Norman Ellis and ML Hunter. He is a recipient of the 2012 James Richardson Jr. writing scholarship. A native Chicagoan, Berry teaches English at the City Colleges of Chicago.

This poem appears in Diagnosis.