The Sarcoma Scourge
There were whispers, “Mediterranean,
only old men get it.”
Karposi Sarcoma made marks
on gay men’s skin
tagged their torsos, branded their legs
made their face a target like wearing a
a damn holocaust inside our bodies
disco getting a bad rap
my friend freaked when she heard
a lesbian got the virus.
Conspiracy theories leaked
from party balloons after hours
night clubs dying
friends calling in a panic
each new rash or bump
end of life predictions
angels came out from closets to
Act Up meetings, our new
Community, we had to have a say.
Keith Herring, known for his art,
died. It was 1990 with so many
losses, AZT equaled death
and our government officials
refused to say AIDS.
This filibuster infection activated us
to make noise, create buyers clubs.
We drank blood from organic liver
in an alley from a cooler
anything, to save our lives.
Julene Tripp Weaver is a psychotherapist and a writer; she worked in AIDS services for over 21 years. Her third poetry book, Truth Be Bold—Serenading Life & Death in the Age of AIDS, was published this spring by Finishing Line Press. Two prior books are No Father Can Save Her, and Case Walking: An AIDS Case Manager Wails Her Blues. She is widely published in journals and anthologies. Her poems can be found online at: Anti-Heroin Chic, Riverbabble, River & South Review, The Seattle Review of Books, HIV Here & Now, and a creative nonfiction piece is published by Yellow Chair Press, In The Words of Women International 2016 Anthology. Find more of her writing at http://www.julenetrippweaver.com.
Out this spring from Finishing Line Press: truth be bold—Serenading Life & Death in the Age of AIDS
No Father Can Save Her, Plain View Press
Case Walking: An AIDS Case Manager Wails Her Blues, Finishing Line Press
Available on Amazon.