Especially for people living with HIV/AIDS (PLWHA), an attempt is made here to capture the thoughts of an HIV/AIDS positive person, and how AIDS, as if human, responds to these thoughts in the second stanza. This is one of the poems in a work in progress, Stranger in the Mirror and Other Poems. I hope you have a good read and keep the comments coming!
A Conversation with AIDS on My Dying Bed
On my dying bed
Tear-filled eyes, feverish face seared with sores,
staring into space, traveling in time
mirrors of emptiness in the eyes, groans of regrets under my breath
pleasures of the past and pains of the present taunting the mind.
Emptiness, regrets, loneliness,
limitless and boundless like time and space.
Pain so deep inside like a stab in the heart!
All the life, all the love, all the treasures
Fading like a dream walking away from your sleep
Neither here, nor there; too slippery to hold
Chasing and chasing but never catching up, gasping for breath,
But never getting anywhere
Sweating in bed until you scream the nightmare out of your sleep:
“AIDS! Why me? Why me? Why me?!
I know you are in here
Right here in this ward watching me on my dying bed
Watching another victim say his last prayer.”
Victimisation is not of me,
I make victim of no man, a virus is what I am.
You are man, victim of man himself, not of my world
But of the world of man infected with viruses of vices and virulent prejudice
Walls of discrimination, arch of hate, wars without wisdom
Choices blinded by the narrow desires of man
Victim of man’s inhumanity to man
And this compass
from the point of progression
In this cycle of hunger for power, madness for money and sex
Returns to the point of termination –
Where no food on the table, no job for the man, no shelter for the mother,
no doctor for the sick child, no chance to dream between the pages
of a book for the girl-child, a life of strife
Poverty and diseases, third-world ambitions
of your rulers still ravaging the
world for more and more
This is your story, not mine
And the rest is history, and so you will.