Aids Awareness Day

Category Four, so grave a risk,
the Government advised,
no-one should have my blood.

A negative pre-China test proved
I had survived "sex with an African",
was fit to pretend to see no evil
in the Workers' Paradise.

Straggling home now from evening French,
light with insomnia,
weighed down by your absence,
passing St. Andrew's church,
I am stunned to see a gravestone
worn almost illegible but for your name,
black and clear: LOUISA.

Next morning, December First,
a letter from your homeland
announces a demise foretold:
not yours, my love; instead,

the death of a tall, distraught, kind man
who'd played Russian roulette with his arse,
then been forced to live after he'd lost,
to feel his lifeblood turn to pus.
Aids awareness steps closer.

Bryan Murphy

If you've any comments on this poem, Bryan Murphy would be pleased to hear from you.

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