Na(HIV)PoWriMo ± April 29, 2017

Iris Lee
We’re Still Here

We meet and speak
less now
about pills and T-cells,
so glad to be here
when so many aren’t.

We meet and speak
less now
of memorials and tears
and the fear,
and more now

about “what now?”
when we meet now
in the old bars.
We speak about the theater
and other pleasure those others

who aren’t
are missing because of
no pills, vanished T-cells.
But here we are,
meeting and speaking,

pill-poppers extraordinaire
trying to tell
dumb youngsters in bars
our stories but
they aren’t interested.


Iris Lee is the author of Urban Bird Life (NYQ Books, 2010). She conducts a writing workshop at The Actors Fund, which originated as a workshop for theater professionals affected by HIV/AIDS.

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Here is today’s prompt

(optional as always)

Today’s poet wrote today’s poem in response to a prompt that she presented to her own students in an advanced poetry class. We share that prompt with you today: Write a poem in the voice of a first-person plural (“we”) dispassionately discussing a very serious situation—in our case, some aspect of HIV (risk, testing, treatment, prevention, living with, being affected by, etc.)—keeping the tone restrained, using repetition and cadence to achieve a light touch despite the subject matter. Thank you Iris Lee for the poem and the prompt.