another dying AIDS patient

Every time you say “thank you”,
whenever you need me,
whatever your issues are,
don’t waste your breath.
Honey, you’re not my designated charity.
I’m giving at the office this year.
So pay me now or pay me later,
but you’d better be good for it.

We’ll just make this one clinical;
direct and to the point;
cold as an alcohol swab,
dry as a fresh diaper.
I’m so deathly cold my heart is frozen,
forcing fissures to open, enlarge and widen.
With time it cracks and crumbles.
Nah… fuck it. That’s too cheesy.

This time I’ll be a diamond;
colour, cut, clarity and karat.
Try me on for size.
I’ll cut through anything you’ve got.
Now here’s the kicker,
I’m the professional around here
and you’re the diamond.
So, I guess you can’t make it any harder.

Am I angry? Am I hurting?
Well, what if I am?
What are you gonna do about it?
Like you’ll ever even know.
Fuck, I wish you’d drop dead,
or better yet, get a life.
Move on to greener pastures
and just leave me out of it.

In your face
with my virtuoso compassion.
In your business
with my lilting empathy.
How’s the pain?
Here’s an opiate.
Skip along the edge as long as you like.
It’s not my problem, I’m outta here at 7.

Look man, I’m out of place here.
This time is yours.
I’m not going on this trip.
Your train’s gotta leave the station without me.
“Paging anyone in the building”
I’m the one in the line of fire,
call the doctor, the pharmacy the nurse, social workers and staff,
…god, your friends are hot.

I don’t get why you wanna be so brave.
Nobody really gets that.
You’re gonna die… so do it.
It’s more than OK for me.
Am I mentioned in the will? Not.
What’s my reward, good karma and a pay cheque?
Tell your Mom to keep the heartfelt “Thanks!”
I’ve got a scrapbook full of those.

Why should I give a damn?
Stop breathing, stop living, stop chuckling at my jokes.
I flirt with you for my own distraction.
So don’t get any ideas.

The worst of it is,
you’re not the first.
And the worst of it is,
you’re not the last.

Get off my cloud and out of my life.
Get into my past and out of my mind.
What are you to me?
Christ, we just met on Monday.

another dying AIDS patient

Bruce Miller

Ottawa, Canada

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