Amy Barlow Liberatore… stories of lost years, wild times, mental variety, faith, and lots of jazz

Category Archives: HIV/AIDS

The prompt at NaPoWriMo was to write a poem using words you hate. This covers a wide spectrum from one part of my life. I miss you, Jeff. Love, Amer

Panel from the Memory Project

Pneumocystis Pneumonia (PCP)

Prone on the steel-back chair.
Probed straight down the gullet.
Cysts and rancid breath emerge
as he lay stupefied.
He will awaken and count the hours.
Tick, tock, curse the clock.

Swabs grabbed cultures.
Petrie dishes cook up the fetid truth:
He has it.
He has full-blown AIDS.
It is 1985.
He is 32.
Tick. tock, curse the clock.

Skeletal soon enough, too soon.
Patches of scabs peel off his scalp.
Bactrin on every sink so that
if he barfs, bleeds, or brays
we can wash it off.
Tick, tock, curse the clock.

© 2011 Amy Barlow Liberatore/Sharp Little Pencil

Also posted at Writer’s Island (Day 28) and Poets United.