slam: round one HIV/AIDS redeaux…

when the “gay cancer” hit         loss became a name of the game         friends         lovers               peers           co-workers        a generation     disappeared     those sick lost      weight   jobs    family    friends dignity         as immune systems crashed   quickly     mercilessly    aging the young    crossing brain barrier  to turn young man to old overnite    babies dying in arms hours after diagnosis      the brilliant to childlike in a heartbeat    overnite        it  reached into lung and bowel   kidney and skin       to devastate     always, always a prelude to immediate and swift DEATH    opportunistic infections    and they came by the dozens           to steal life

in their names        for their honor     for ourselves as reconciliation      we fought in  streets      on white house sidewalks        sat in on steps of county/city/state offices       lit hot wax candles marching into the blazing night          down main streets and thoroughfares     we shouted their names      cried their memory in the name of honor       begged in the name of humanity           to save life

we buried our dead        brothers sisters children    fathers    lovers        strangers     created quilt memorials of fabric and lace        leather and silks      filled graveyards       tossed ashes into the sea    onto mountaintops        and cried           rivers of tears      in the streets      we held the dying in arms heavy with grief      we looked away as dignity slid through fingers      we made broths and elixirs    read favorite tales to eyes murky and blinded by the VIRUS’ untimely hand    we tried to warn you that         a virus doesn’t care if you are straight or gay         play fun, be SAFE       always        but then all there was to do was to search the ancients for herbs to cure     to bring life

we tried everything and anything       to keep from buying into HELPLESSNESS         we changed shit-filled sheets and vomit-stained pillows    opened bedroom doors to find skeletons crawling across the floor screaming and begging for their lives back       as limbs  broken  bodies  skins breaking  humans     breaking      those we loved         breaking           our hearts   broken   breaking unknown promise after promise    WE PRAYED BELIEVING IN NO GOD SO CRUEL AND UNFORGIVING         to give life

we buried our dead   spread ash after ash on mountaintops and seas      attended     memorial services,  the RITUALS of every weekend for years        tossed RED, red blood on walls and windows of greedy pharmaceutical companies     demanded healthcare   research     education         a cure   demanded uncaring eyes to open      demanded recognition of the indignity of allowing such loss       volumes of loss      demanded that the eyes of idiots and elected kings be pried open        let them see WHAT WE HAVE SEEN  blood on their hands, all          to remember life

for thirty years        we banded together    rebuilt our communities    mended our hearts     EDUCATED  those still letting ignorance guide their fear      asked for a cure       begged for a cure       prayed for a cure        instead we accepted meager bandaids   glued on skin  by the PHARMACEUTICAL GOLD mines     don’t be silly, they snickered!  there’s big business here in the business of AIDS     so was birthed the cash cow          they created instead handfuls of poison that would keep people alive       fistfuls of expensive little pills that would boost immune systems   while DESTROYING organs       kidneys stoned to death   all offering up as odd gateway to cancers      weakened  hearts        livers, failed       got diabetes?     got NEUROPATHY  got blood clots and feet and legs so swollen and sore that you can’t walk    its the best we can do, baby        FINDING A CURE would put our asses out of business         and the business of DEATH is booming          and our  beat must go ON        pay with your life

thirty years later     what we fought for stood shoulder to shoulder in the streets       for      ACTIVISM  paid off     but wait!   in this new day of today, we are punished!       by keeping deaths at an all time low     another broken thread, broken promise       cog in the wheel  spokes bent and rusted         by a broken healthcare system       today the money still sits             SUNKEN into battleships of     ongoing senseless WAR   chests of gold sunk into  financial institutions rife with corruption              and the legacy of a bad actor runs deep         a nation in ruins        the good old republican boys smirking from the decks of their yachts  bonuses    cocktails      and your retirement   fat in their pockets and oilfields       paid for by the sweat of a DISAPPEARED middle class       thirty years later        COMMUNITIES  who reduced  their numbers of AIDS DEATHS       by taking TOO GOOD of care       by establishing clinics     food banks  supplying good medicine and herbs      on the streets  in your face education and prevention   peer advocacy     kid’s camps        case management      SUPPORT groups     volunteers to drive  to save   to talk   to help     to give     by giving love       and giving heart         giving         today we are punished because “AIDS is now a manageable disease”      and so we   prepare  for the next wave         to begin   again         stop the spinning and the speed              unsafe sex?     choose  life

today       in one fell swoop          it has begun       subtract all that we added to care for the sick        eliminate services to keep people alive          deduct       dismantle        close down     erase     ERASE       tear down the walls built  BRICK BY BRICK on our backs    in the streets      burn it to the ground        the tired    the hungry      the sick     those without homes        those with horrors dancing behind crazy eyeballs do-se-doe ing with madness       those without money to buy their meds today or tomorrow  now     those   DYING   again from the pain and the stress of this LIFE of HIV forced to begin from a new pile of ash to rebuild yet another FOUNDATION     for care     as a state of elected fools  subtract services         wipe the sweat of twenty years from our brows with the spit of fools    as    the feds who leave us scratching our heads in wonder         where is that new day you promised        where is the end to this senseless war machine              is GM or AIG  saving souls this week       feeding the hungry next         or caring for the sick      AS  you and THEY DISMANTLE             MORE and more day after day        tearING pen through paper      i cannot watch as you continue to ELIMINATE  the needs of humanity

we once stood in the streets and screamed      SHAME!          tonight my vocal cords    slit by disbelief           are silent and weary   tonite i fear the sounds of death and silence ringing in ears again             SHAME!              prepare to fight again                           for life  ignorance=fear         silence =death

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About lindalou5150

as exercise or exorcism, i write...for the eyes of others, for my eyes and heart only, for the love and the rage, i write...to release the gamut of emotion...to tell the truth and say what's often thought but not written...
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One Response to slam: round one HIV/AIDS redeaux…

  1. lindalou5150 says:

    Reblogged this on Shadowdance and commented:

    WORLD AIDS DAY 30 YEARS

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