Poem 25 ± November 25, 2016

D. Gilson
Movie Going

The week I move to Washington,
my mother emails me an article:

“Nation’s Capital Now Capital of HIV Infection.”
Be careful, she says, I love you,

and Kevin says he can’t live with rejection
so he sleeps around. Chases

bugs and snorts lines of coke
and texts: I let Matt fuck me bareback.

Over brunch, Dupont Circle, we’re talking 1981.
What a bummer, Wet Hot American

Summer, Nancy Reagan just says no.
What the fuck did we know

then? Larry Kramer asks. It was summer,
1981, two men dead in Los Angeles

from rare lung infections. Then five. True story:
summer before senior year, Andrew wrecked

his Ford Explorer when I gave him road
head on the way to see 8 Mile.

At twenty-nine, I’m still alive and waiting
at the clinic for Kevin to get his results.

He’s negative again, thank god,
and, The problem with some men, I tell Will,

is that they’ll never win, and he reminds me,
The only thing these men have in common is you.

Bummer. What I’m trying to say: Kevin
and I are lucky men. Not bitten but leaving

the Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Clinic with a
5:15 showing of American Pie to catch.


D. GilsonD. Gilson is the author of I Will Say This Exactly One Time: Essays (Sibling Rivalry, 2015); Crush with Will Stockton (Punctum Books, 2014); Brit Lit (Sibling Rivalry, 2013); and Catch & Release (2012), winner of the Robin Becker Prize. He is Assistant Professor of English at Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts, and his work has appeared in Threepenny Review, PANK, The Indiana Review, The Rumpus, and as a notable essay in Best American Essays.