Poem 27 ± World AIDS Day 2017

Ethan J. Cole
A Conversion on Good Friday

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
I gave them
on seven words.
They knew not
I was the sermon.

So young, they whispered,
where did this man
get all this,
how can he know
anything of death.

Those bystanders
staring but not seeing,
the filth and fire
I now carried,
dividing up my life,
and that is what
my congregation did.

When will You take me down?
Let them lance me.
Now I am converted.
See what a load I carry.

Do not touch me.
I have not yet ascended.
Put your hand in my side
if you must,
but wear a glove.


logoEthan J. Cole’s work appears in Calamus. Originally from western New York state, he lives in Florida with his two dogs, Amos and Betty Spaghetti. Cole was serving as a pastor when he became HIV-positive in 2008, in his mid 20s.

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