In Whose Name?

Safe sex
Saves not the soul
Says the moralist.

We let a million condom bloom
No one knows if it ends up in the right hands
Trash cans, backs of drawers,
Balloons blown in Kindergarten.

In a time of crises
Between rightness and safety
The world lives in two extremes
.

Unleashed from the God of justice
Deaths from this dreadful disease
They say, are destined for us all

And in the deific worship
of the god of tube of rubber,
Man scampers for safety…

damn the soul

This poem, “In Whose Name?” is selected from my unpublished work, “Stranger in the Mirror of My Life & Other Pieces”, predominantly centered on HIV/AIDS

What If it’s the Way We Love?

What If it’s the Way We Love? is specially dedicated to all the people living with HIV/ AIDS (PLWHA) out there this yuletide season. Selected from a work in progress, “Stranger the Mirror of M y Life and Other Pieces”, I dared to ask all of us: what If it’s the Way We Love? in our quest to save humanity from itself. Or what do you think?

 

what if this scourge

this pandemic, this plague

wiping out our race

from the face of earth

without a face

 

was just a thing?

 

A thing seeping through the open sores

of the way we love, sores of the way we make love,

treat love, desire love, the way we show and share love

the way we name love?

Just a thing seeping through the open sores

of the way we push and test love,

the way we tempt love, open sores of the way we kill love

the way we forget love?

 

What if it is just that thing

seeping through the open sores

of the way we sell love,

compromise love, the way we treat love and shame love,

the way we touch love, sacrifice love

or sometimes,

a thing seeping through the open sores

of the way we prove love

when between two

there are doubts.

Just the way we hold on to love

when it’s no more there,

the way we fight for love, stay for love

when love is lost.

The way we wait for love

when love is gone,

the way we live for love

when love is dead?

 

What if this scourge

this pandemic, this plague

wiping out our race

from the face of earth

without a face

was just a thing?

 

What if it’s the way we love?

what if this scourge

this pandemic, this plague

wiping out our race

from the face of earth

without a face

was just a thing?

 

A thing seeping through the open sores

of the way we love, sores of the way we make love,

treat love, desire love, the way we show and share love

the way we name love?

Just a thing seeping through the open sores

of the way we push and test love,

the way we tempt love, open sores of the way we kill love

the way we forget love?

What if it is just that thing

seeping through the open sores

of the way we sell love,

compromise love, the way we treat love and shame love,

the way we touch love, sacrifice love

or sometimes,

a thing seeping through the open sores

of the way we prove love

when between two

there are doubts.

Just the way we hold on to love

when it’s no more there,

the way we fight for love, stay for love

when love is lost.

The way we wait for love

when love is gone,

the way we live for love

when love is dead?

 

What if this scourge

this pandemic, this plague

wiping out our race

from the face of earth

without a face

was just a thing?

 

What if it’s the way we love?

what if this scourge

this pandemic, this plague

wiping out our race

from the face of earth

without a face

was just a thing?

 

A thing seeping through the open sores

of the way we love, sores of the way we make love,

treat love, desire love, the way we show and share love

the way we name love?

Just a thing seeping through the open sores

of the way we push and test love,

the way we tempt love, open sores of the way we kill love

the way we forget love?

What if it is just that thing

seeping through the open sores

of the way we sell love,

compromise love, the way we treat love and shame love,

the way we touch love, sacrifice love

or sometimes,

a thing seeping through the open sores

of the way we prove love

when between two

there are doubts.

Just the way we hold on to love

when it’s no more there,

the way we fight for love, stay for love

when love is lost.

The way we wait for love

when love is gone,

the way we live for love

when love is dead?

 

What if this scourge

this pandemic, this plague

wiping out our race

from the face of earth

without a face

was just a thing?

 

What if it’s the way we love?

Man in the Mirror

Cigarette burning in the ashtray
empty bottles before a belching belly

down the street
he finds a bed beside a gutter
and when he finds his feet,

a punching bag in the sleepless face
of a woman waiting by the window

fear in the face, screams from the scene,
tears in the eyes, blood in the nose, body on the floor

(silence)

his face falls on the mirror
away from the lifeless-looking face:
Tell me it’s not true
Tell me it’s not true
I’ve AIDS
Or just let me die
let me die!

Make me live like this

(silence)

I’ll kill the man in the mirror

(culled from a collection of poems in progress, Ripples Across Lives: Poetry against HIV/AIDS).