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A Poem by Bryan Fleury

April 2010

Saving Private Bryan

Knowing that the shoe fits
I'm the guy from Massachusetts.
I've come here seeking friendship
and sail the 7 Seas
and maybe find some comfort
in my 19-year disease.
Finally feeling fortunate,
my smile now sincere,
my struggles left behind me
speaking with no fear.

Yet I fear my limbs on strings
and skin that feels like paper
and all my other assets
that soon began to taper.
Temples of doom,
eye sockets that bloom
and a concave face
that resembles the moon.
Veins on my body that look like a map,
never directions for a normal crap.
Blind to the mirror,
afraid that I'll see
what lipodystrophy has done to me.

Fearing old friends in public,
avoiding eye to eye,
the double take I get
makes me want to cry.
Crying doesn't help,
the tears begin to race
down the grooves of my tired, sunken face.
Unprotected hetero sex
was my crime of passion
and now I'm doing time
living in puppet fashion.
Isolation by choice has kept me apart,
avoiding the stress that once stopped my heart.

But now I'm saving Private Bryan
from all these years of lying
too much pride to admit
too much love to submit
to a disease that could mean dying.

I've come back to my safe haven
where I know I'm accepted,
to gather more strength
from people affected.
I'm so happy to be here with my infection.
I hope and pray we made a connection.

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This article was provided by 2010 Poetry Month at


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