TRUTH TUESDAY

HIV Here & Now

In honor of National World AIDS Day which was December 1st, 2019, this poem was re-posted by Jessica Paul.

Original poem by: Vernita Hall
Letter from P-town

Dear Gregory,

As Pop would say, I’m as happy as a faggot in Boystown—literally. ‘Cause that’s where I am! You and Richard would love it here. Nearly every passing face looks up and smiles. But they hesitate first, searching for—the welcome, I think. Acceptance. And with each shy, hopeful gaze I remember your funeral, your family’s faces, in that church with Richard—like they’d been sucking lemons and needed to spit.

I wish you had told me. I wish you had told me why in the hospital they let you smoke. I thought your nurse was kind because he was your kind. As if any alphabet infection could have ever changed my affection for you.

I’m trying to enjoy my stay here. Like you always said, you’ll be dead a long time.

Well, the gang’s almost all there now. You, Pop, Richard, Granny, Uncle Charlie. Mom says hi; she’s coming to visit soon. Keep the music hot, the beer cold, a seat warm for me, and the tab running. I’ve got all of you covered.

Always,

(Vernita Hall)

To read the original poem along with others from this collection, please visit: https://www.hivhereandnow.com/napowrimo-2019/nahivpowrimo-%c2%b1-april-25-2019/

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