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World AIDS Day


Bill, Cory, Don, Gabe, Jessica, Jim, Mark, Sarah ...

and all the others

too many others




Paul Monette


(Originally published in Love Alone:  18 Elegies for Rog)




everything extraneous has burned away

this is how burning feels in the fall

of the final year not like leaves in a blue

October but as if the skin were a paper lantern

full of trapped moths beating their fired wings

and yet I can lie on this hill just above you

a foot beside where I will lie myself

soon soon and for all the wrack and blubber

feel still how we were warriors when the

merest morning sun in the garden was a

kingdom after Room 1010 war is not all

death it turns out war is what little

thing you hold on to refugeed and far from home

oh sweetie will you please forgive me this

that every time I opened a box of anything

Glad Bags One-A-Days KINGSIZE was

the worst I’d think will you still be here

when the box is empty Rog Rog who will

play boy with me now that I bucket with tears

through it all when I’d cling beside you sobbing

you’d shrug it off with the quietest I’m still

here I have your watch in the top drawer

which I don’t dare wear yet help me please

the boxes grocery home day after day

the junk that keeps men spotless but it doesn’t

matter now how long they last or I

the day has taken you with it and all

there is now is burning dark the only green

is up by the grave and this little thing

of telling the hill I’m here oh I’m here


Roger died of complications of AIDS in 1986; Paul in 1995 


Dec. 6th, 2005 07:07 am (UTC)
Saw part of the 46664 concert the other night, with inserts about AIDS awareness in South Africa. Devastating. Completely.

Here, in some (*large) parts of the country, about 35% of the people between the ages of 15 and 35 are HIV positive.

Don't have an appropriate icon for this.