HIV Test, 2017
No more secret code to be remembered.
No more two weeks of night terrors, chest
pain, scribbling a list of which possessions
go to which friends. No more bargains;
please, just let it be negative and I will never,
ever get laid without a condom.
Now I sashay in to my appointment,
chat with the girl young enough to be my
granddaughter, receive instant absolution
along with a gift card to Walmart.
Nina Bennett is the author of Sound Effects (Broadkill River Press, 2013). Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in Gargoyle, I-70 Review, Houseboat, Yale Journal for Humanities in Medicine, Philadelphia Stories, and The Broadkill Review. Nina is a founding member of the TransCanal Writers, a group of award-winning Delaware authors who collectively edited and published Five Bridges: A Literary Anthology (CreateSpace, 2013).
Join our mailing list to receive news, updates, and special offers from Indolent Books (HIV Here & Now is a project of Indolent Books).
Here is today’s prompt
(optional as always)
Write a poem about HIV risk in the voice of a member of a high risk group. Consider these facts:
- Gay, bisexual, and other men who have sex with men (MSM) have the largest number of new HIV diagnoses in the US
- Blacks and Latinos are disproportionately affected by HIV
- Transgender women who have sex with men are among the groups at highest risk for HIV infection
- Injection drug users remain at significant risk for getting HIV
For some information that might help your poetic process on this topic, check out this page on HIV in the United States.