For World AIDS Day: A Poem



Today, On this World AIDS Awareness Day I remember, I reflect, I ponder. lmr

As a teen,
Faces I thought I'd see
Clear into gray senility
Withering shadows
Aged by
Antique memories...

The bodies of
Young gods
With vital dreams
In their eyes were
Toppled from their pedestals as
An ill wind blew throughout
And inside…
This urban wasteland.

And I carry them with me
Like the saddest songs
Within my chest.
So hard to sing them now
Through these screams of my

And an ocean   away 
Just how many
Orphaned children
Will die today?
So many have seen their
Aching fathers, and
So many have watched
As their African mothers
Faded away  so quickly.

Seemed no one cared
To warn them of
The terrible price to pay
Inside what is now
A global wasteland...

And I think of J,
I think of Jett,
I think of Kim, Cunning and Cliff.
I think of Deb and Mike and Wilson and
The list has grown so long,
I almost lose my breath…

I think of smiles we've lost
And dreams we've tossed
Like old sneakers to the air
Dangling now from power-lines
Above urban streets everywhere…

Our memories broken
Like needles in the rain
We spray-tag their names into
Physical graffiti
So a part of them
Always remains
In this city's wasteland.

On this World
AIDS Awareness Day
I remember,
I reflect,
I ponder,
And may we never
Never forget
The Lesson:

How needles never
Gave a shit about
Friends or families…
How sex without
Can easily
Flip the script
And turn even
The most beautiful-est
Of us into:

A reference point...
A half-life
A past-tense
A sad poetry
Of skeletons…

Here, within this
HIV wasteland.

copyright © 2011 by L.M. Ross
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