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Personal Story

At the Monster

Poem 25 ±

April 25, 2017

My body is as undetectable
as the virus lurking within it,
standing in the heated crowd
along the dance floor. Old
and sober. That’s the best I can say
for myself, the finest example
I can set for all the young men
around me. I’m not nostalgic
or sentimental: I just want
to feel what transparency is like,
to put old memories in their place;
If this were thirty years ago
most of them would want to screw me.
Now they look not at me but through me.

Dennis Rhodes is the author of Spiritus Pizza & Other Poems (Vital Links, 2000) and Entering Dennis (Xlibris, 2005). His poems and essays have appeared in BLOOM, Chelsea Station, Lambda Literary Review, The Cape Cod Times, New York Newsday, Fine Gardening, Avocet, Backstreet, Ibbetson Street, bear creek haiku, Aurorean, and Alembic, among others.

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This article was provided by HIV Here & Now Project. Visit their website at
See Also
Late Fall Hospice Fragment
National HIV Poetry Writing Month
More HIV/AIDS-Related Poetry

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