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.