For the Dear One Who Said I Put AIDs in their Ear

For the Dear One Who Said I Put AIDs in their Ear

by Michael Mackin O’Mara

For one panicked moment I believed you

believed within a pillar of fear, doubt, loathing

the cries for yet another Devil’s Island

My tongue traced your salt

found each source and shiver

oh beautiful one, I understand fear

do you understand the luxury of loneliness

You who are destined for other arms in other rooms

My tongue silently sang your beauty

tasting the lines of your hands

how easy it is in this life of fiction

to fit someone with an iron mask

in yet another The Prisoner of… remake

The priest shall pronounce them unclean. All the days shall they be unclean, and they shall dwell alone outside the encampment. And they in whom the plague is, their clothes shall be rent, head bare, face veiled, and shall cry out to all who approach, Unclean! Unclean!

Where Leviticus meets Dumas, meets Hollywood circa 1936, meets Playbill gay-boys at Bent on Broadway, meets Angels in America, meets Rent, meets KS and pneumocystis, meets CMV, meets Anita Bryant, Jerry Falwell, Ryan White, Rock Hudson, AZT, meets ACT UP, meets die-ins, meets Silence = Death, meets the CDC, T-Cells & CD4s, meets PEP and PrEP, meets sero-conversion, side effects, drug resistance, meets not-you, meets poz-pigs, bug chasers, meets clean & UB2, meets loss and loss and loss, everyone, pieces & parts, meets online, on demand, virtual animations, more tokens please, meets burning effigies hung from AIDS quilts, meets apathy, meets AIDS is manageable, meets AIDS is over, meets no one, not-you, no one, not-you, none

Our tongues useless

paralyzed in threnodies

Are you clean? Distance demands, Are you? Clean?

and we, prisoners of our blood, guardians

of our body fluids

Unclean, we cry, Unclean


Michael Mackin O’Mara works for a nonprofit in West Palm Beach, Florida. He is the managing editor of the South Florida Poetry Journal concentrating on audio and video submissions. He has been published by Chantwood Magazine, Door is a Jar, Switched-on Gutenberg, Silver Birch Press and Indolent Books. His hobbies include photography, videography, and graphic arts.

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