Three letters

This post is inspired by and dedicated to a friend who has been recently diagnosed with HIV. I feel his pain, his anger, his confusion and his strength. I vow to stand with him in what ever way he needs me to. It’s also the first poem I’ve ever shared like this, so be kind… SB this is for you.

red-ribbon

Three letters

A death sentence
Nothing can be the same again
Denial, anger, blame
Anything but acceptance
Acceptance would mean dealing with mortality and the truth about the fluids we share during sex
Acceptance would mean acknowledging the fragility of our human bodies and the fleeting nature of our existence
Denial allows us to go on living a normal life until our bodies begin to outwardly show the scars of the battle within
Three letters

A fight for survival
It’s amazing how three letters can change the course of your life
How your body can become a battleground
Every cell for itself!
Every cell fighting against an enemy so deceptive, it hides in plain sight
An enemy that snuck in during a moment of careless abandon
An enemy that could have been held back by a thin latex sheath
But in those wanton moments of ecstasy, the last thing you wanted was to stop and reach for the rubber
Instead you let that hard pulsating spear penetrate you and leave a scar that will never heal

Three letters can turn your sexual past into a map of betrayal and accusation
Three letters will turn each orgasmic moan into screams of shame
Three letters can turn every dick you sensually stroked into weapons of your destruction
Three letters turn your normal life into a life of doctors and tests and pills
Three letters and your sex life becomes a carefully orchestrated routine of disclosure and negotiation

Three letters that now define you
Three letters that turn you into a statistic, a cliché, a tick in a box on the endless array of forms that run our lives
Three letters that turn you into a tool for the global machine built to combat the disease
A machine that now gorges itself on donations and government subsidies
Three letters and your choices are now dictated by memos and reports from faceless agencies a world away
They tell you what to eat
They tell you what pills to take and when to take them
They tell you what’s safe for you to do
They tell you what sex you can or cannot have

Three letters
H I V
Three letters that I refuse to become me
Three letters that I do not blame anyone, including myself, for making a part of my story

Three letters
I acknowledge them
I accept them

And I shall live

And I shall love