By Peter Scalpello
Blood samples. Three pulsing vials.
Torrent, exhale, trickle.
Have you heard of prep? I mean
tenofovir emtricitabine, I mean
Trials. Paris, Cameroon, Cambodia.
I wept, as blood performs
an act of betrayal. The fire inside
200mg moves me forward.
What have I learned?
To prick. A caring kind of violence.
Dismantle my fingerprint, snatch out
my sins. Consume and declare them on
cotton, pure, stain
a shameful crimson.
My sins, which you put there
with disinfected hands. Absolved I
play a hand in absolution.
Guarded façades remain
With trembling fists blindfold me, wrench
my mouth open and fill it with
Truvada. Each pill a sapphire relief.
Give me one for every soul I ever held inside me,
every [ ███ ] I [ ████ ] this year.
So cram me full, breach capacity
until I choke on my own salvation.
You upped the price and we bled. I spread
my whole and was fed
another chance, for another
chest, his arms and thighs
that grip my need. Still I bleed.
My status. Why
deny me this armour,
How could I evade
what has been handed to me