kearns to LA city council: poem for world AIDS day 2009 (0093)

[december 1, 2009, world AIDS day]
richard kearns, poet advocate. here is my poem for world AIDS day, 2009. (i have given the clerk copies)

jeff was dying, i was not
a hundred karposi lesions
covered his body &
made him look like
nijinsky in afternoon
with a faun,
only skinny

he was my captain of
bright & stormy mornings
my saint & my man
he was my AIDS hero
(more than mine) & i
hated he was leaving me

i wanted to pour into him all
the life left to me —
because i could never hope to be
good enough to survive this plague
by myself, let alone for anyone else —
because i was cannon fodder —
because we needed him

i told him so one day

he laughed & then — i don’t
remember how — he scooped up
my tanned gym-hard bod in his pale &
thin & tangly night-scarred arms &
tender-kissed me several times saying —
here i thought i was pouring my life
into yours. why? because

i believe in you
i believe in you
i believe in you
i believe in you
pass it on

then he was gone
his words do not keep
me from missing him
but they are a comfort
neither god nor quilt has
offered — my own turn
to triumph with a balm
no one else can
discover or manufacture,
invent or create or speak,
medicine compounded with my
blood & toil & tears & sweat

i believe in you
i believe in you
i believe in you
i believe in you
pass it on

i have struggled to do what
jeff could not stay to finish &
sam & jim & russ & steve & the
too too many more. too too
soon your turn will come
let us make each other’s lives
more livable, more filled with sun &
season while we can. never forget

i believe in you
i believe in you
i believe in you
i believe in you
pass it on
pass it on
pass it on

namasté

—richard kearns
(dedicated to cm bill rosendahl)
rk@aids-write.org
http://aids-write.org
https://havvacc.wordpress.com

ITEM NO. (37)
09-2824

CONTINUED CONSIDERATION OF RESOLUTION (ROSENDAHL – KORETZ) relative to declaring December 1, 2009 as WORLD AIDS DAY in the City of Los Angeles. Recommendation for Council action:
RESOLVE to DECLARE December 1, 2009 as WORLD AIDS DAY in the City of Los Angeles, and call upon all the residents and leaders of this great city to join us in heightening the awareness of HIV infection and AIDS prevention and the need for accessible and available testing for all. (Continued from Council meeting of November 24, 2009)

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