Joel, by pd lyons ( floppy version)


 

JOEL / feb. 19.86. NYC

what is there to say
now that I’ll never see your face
in a subway crowd
in a dance club or
look up from the Sunday Times
as I walk into the Borgia.

what is there to say
now that your smile,
your ways, all the things that made you you
are gone?

I remember you
I loved you
I hated you.
you were my friend.
you broke my heart.

but I was there for you
with flowers and smuggling in your favourite
foods which you could hardly ever eat
but always seemed so grateful for.

you even spoke with me –
fears , regrets and hating
what you called
“that terrorist of love”

now, today I try to bargain,
saying “but I was there for you”
as if some magic incantation
as if death and all its wilderness
could be manipulated

and all that happens is
through the water of my eyes
a dry hot stone settles

 

DSC_5298

 

I was for a brief while living in Manhattan in the 80’s. There was something happening and it was not good. I went to an apartment gathering to hear a Doctor speak about this new virus – he was late because he had just gotten confirmation on his own diagnosis.

Joel was introduced to me by the person I was living with, they had been friends for years.  He was the first person I knew who died from AIDS. Not sure if  the poem works for the reader but it does for me.

May all be free from suffering

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