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Reflections
Blistering Summer

By Brandon Ross Abernathy

August 1999

It has been a dry hot summer

The leaves on the trees

are crinkled and brittle

Like I am feeling inside

the grass in my yard is brown

the ground is crusty and coarse

azaleas are struggling to stay alive

Like my dehydrated body

waiting for much needed rain


I look in a mirror

see a man challenged by AIDS

skin ruddy and chapped

muscle mass atrophied

hair falling out

eyes deep in sockets

with no light

blistered lips

Tired of fighting


In May, hospitalized

Ulcers in my stomach and throat

from all the medications

my violets are withered

over fertilized


June, weakened physical being

Parasites and amoebas

invade my intestinal tract

more toxic medications

sicken my body

slugs have taken over the garden

I hate to use pesticides


July, a new cocktail therapy

Thrush in my mouth

legs and right arm

tingle, numbness, cramps

Neuropathy

more doctors' appointments

Depressive heat

flowers are wilting

no strength to water


August, new meds have stopped working

oppressive weather

chronic diarrhea

I have lost 18 pounds

throwing up again

my T-cells have crashed

Viral Load is climbing

possible CMV in my gut

My Pink Dogwood tree

is losing its leaves


Today is the first day of autumn

A cool healing breeze

moisture in the air

The promise of relief

A season of change

Maybe, a season of healing.




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