Across generations of continents
What do it mean to be haunted?
by a virus. A bluegrass
grandma in Sparta, Tennessee died today;
So did Ntozake Shange.
I wonder is it was they knew each other?
Ntozake and grandma?
the yellow / the red / the Asian pacific islander /
the poor poor white / the black / the trans girl /
the doula / the woman / the social worker / the rich /
the nuyorican / the new yawker /the southern belle /
the global south /Brasil / the brown-black / AMEM
and thank you /the activist / the artivist / the Zion / the poet /
the visual artist / the scholar / the writer / the shunned /
the convener / the loved / the forsaken
a Universe of Us?
got queer children in common?
Somewhere in the beveled glitter of rainbows
A proximal history melts us into lemon drops
America’s punk daughters and sons sure know how to tie a not
How else to cut down a noose?
cept with the knife’s edge of a fem queen’s heel
and an icon’s death drop
tonight Love ‘til it Hurts launched
right where we landed simulcast in this
historic nyc LGBT Center Auditorium
on 13th Street just west of Seventh Avenue South
breathing the unrequited ash suffusing St. Vincent’s biosphere
in this west village five to six block radius
a repurposed hospital building ain’t never lose it’s mission
here lies a fertile field endlessly pregnant with ghosts
Where NYC’s AIDS patients had flooded-in parched
for something like water & comfort on the hapless occasion
of their tsunami life and death
what do it mean to be haunted by a virus?
Tonight there is a Taipei hiv-positive gay boy in here
lending us an innervision. A love petri dish is bubbling over
in his terrified eyes
He’s going back home soon; His country everywhere
infectious with stigma
the medicine men don’t make pills for that.
Kai’s momma don’t know yet his secret.
Her son a host.
His soul-force, warm porcelain, nurses a kindling tide
swayed with tenderness and courage and rage
and grief and joy we can all touch
when we meet him
he has tasted here in nyc some portion of his soul’s own freedom
the call. we hear it. don’t u?
its in the blood its in the blood-water
earnest and quiet and true
It hurts to spring out of a cage smiling
It hurts to bounce too hard against a Tree
In the photos he has shown us.
He is calling us home
He is a gift.
He does not quite know how powerful he is yet.