Poem 32 ± December 1, World AIDS Day 2017 – BONUS RIFF

Simply Rob Vassilarakis Mortality and Legacy I used to have my whole life ahead of me Now at best my glass is half full And I still thirst I thirst in the desert Of what I have to show for myself For the moisture of a purpose yet to be discovered All I can do … [Read more…]

Poem 31 ± December 1, World AIDS Day 2017

Deloris Dockrey Fear, My Companion and Motivator Fear is my constant companion, Fear is my motivator. Fear was there when I was molested as a child, Fear was there in my guilt and shame, Fear motivated me to say STOP! Fear was there when I had my son, Fear was there when I knew I … [Read more…]

Poem 30 ± World AIDS Day 2017

Shen Haobo Wenlou Village Accounts: The Mute Speaking When we arrived there, the mute’s family were holding a funeral, as his mother died of AIDS. The mute saw us, suddenly rushed out of the crowd, holding our hands, shaking them ceaselessly. If he could speak at that time, he would have said, Comrades, you are … [Read more…]

Poem 29 ± World AIDS Day 2017

Reuben Gelley Newman & the Damage Done Listening to Neil Young this morning, an unseasonably / warm weekend in February, quiet / month of fever / month of purification / fever fever fever I sit / “The Needle / &” / on repeat forever fever. I know that some / of you / don’t understand, … [Read more…]

Poem 28 ± World AIDS Day 2017

Bridget Langdon Bruce Was More Bruce was born in rural Illinois Bruce was a handful Bruce told the kids there were ghosts in his house. Bruce was a genius Bruce got bad grades Bruce was a poet Bruce was a prodigal musician Bruce didn’t have the drive Bruce drove across the country to see the … [Read more…]

Poem 27 ± World AIDS Day 2017

Ethan J. Cole A Conversion on Good Friday Sick. The worst flu you’ve ever had. But I knew it was not the flu. The three hour vigil I stared and wondered who was up there, him or me. In the midst of life we are in death. I led my flock in prayer. Seven sermons … [Read more…]

Poem 26 ± World AIDS Day 2017

Annie Bien Dance Scene 1989—NYC Take the F train to Manhattan to 23rd Street, walk to Nineteenth Street between Fifth Avenue and Avenue of the Americas—the map of North South and Central Americas in the faces of the dancers squeezing into the elevator, bubbles of laughter, to the eleventh floor: Alina from Cuba, Beatriz from … [Read more…]

Poem 25 ± World AIDS Day 2017

Janice Urbsaitis “Mom, I’m HIV positive” “Mom, I’m HIV positive.” When I hear those words, I want to grab all the best experts and latest practices, to advocate for human rights and access to care, and to reject HIV criminalization. But most of all, I want to hold you close, the way I did when … [Read more…]

Poem 24 ± World AIDS Day 2017

Iris Lee At the PWA Writers Workshop We were sitting around the highly polished table, the chairs a bit too low for writing in comfort. The workshop should have ended but no one wanted to leave. World AIDS Day had come and gone and people were pensive. Someone read his essay about a woman he’d … [Read more…]

Poem 23 ± World AIDS Day 2017

Ron Searls Elegy for John B— The count begins at eight hundred. You stood upon my December porch, It seems but three years ago. The sun was bright with morning; Camellias white and crimson gleamed; Upon our door lay a wreathe you wove. In top hat, morning suit, tails, You could have stepped from a … [Read more…]