This capsule I swallow for neuropathy and this one
as needed to fend off malicious germs and
these I wash down to thwart a shifty viral load.
Every day, I pick such pieces from my pharmacy
like chocolates from a boxful of assortment
because, you see, I am lovesick.
When is naked not naked enough?
Was it when I dropped my clothes in layers,
depositing them atop my shoes,
a short stack of the undoing of myself?
Was it when I crawled to you and your issue,
reckless and unworried for my exposure;
when I inched my way on all fours, fearless
and unprotected with a yearning to be touched
inside and out? And touched me you did
until you were heaped raw upon me in sweat
and musk and spunk and penetrating darkness.
Frantic to be fulfilled, I settled for full.
Of all the names I have for you now, none
are unkind since all the fault finding begins
and ends with me. It was me who took
a stranger into the sanctum of my skin;
me who was tired of creeping there, alone.
It was me who misspelled affection like sex,
who mistook copulate for consanguine to
escape or embrace the thought of another,
who tricked myself into playing a scene
that passed me a counterfeit minted with lust.
In those days, searching men like foreign lands,
it bugged me so much to be so easily dismissed.
I drank unwisely from every open stream,
overlooking that one seminal moment when
you left behind the worst of yourself,
when firmly and deeply you planted infirmity.
But I couldn't be bothered to care
because, you see, I was lovesick.
About the Poem
This poem was a year in the creation. It began, unknowingly, on the day I found out I'd been infected with HIV. The title and essential theme came to me a few months later, but I chose to wait to write it until I had more perspective on this turning point in my life.
This poem was finished in 2005 and is previously unpublished in print.