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Personal Story

After AIDS

Poem 18 ±

April 18, 2017

And then one night
you came to me,
like putting on a coat,
and lifted me flying.

Through phantasmagoric shifting
geometries of light
we traveled,

me, ecstatic to be with you once more,
and you in that familiar role -- teacher, protector --
now in this form:
an assurance of being.

I didn't question.

Centerwise, we paused
before a pulsing blackness,
a void of nothing
and everything,
a palpitation of presence,
into which you disappeared,
while I watched, illuminated.

Many years now,
and I have been
wondering ...

knowing that light journey
became my luminescence.

And yet,
and yet,
I miss you still,

and more,

while ever opening your gift:

the distilled essence
of pure love.

From a long poem cycle, "The Midwife of Death," written in response to the poet's sharing her brother's journey through AIDS.

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This article was provided by HIV Here & Now Project. Visit their website at

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