Apocalypse poem #9–5 minutes on the timer

you can get
an HIV test now
with results
20 minutes later

but that’s
plenty of time
for that man
with dark green eyes
to remember
who he has been with
how many times
with & without risk
since his last negative

if guilt & fear
are viruses
he’s infected

& terrified
of the results
he leaves

with 5 minutes left
on the timer

About Susan L Daniels

I am a firm believer that politics are personal, that faith is expressed through action, and that life is something that must be loved and lived authentically--or why bother with any of it?
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15 Responses to Apocalypse poem #9–5 minutes on the timer

  1. unfetteredbs says:

    you are really getting creative with
    these. Interesting thoughtful angle on this one.

  2. nelle says:

    I can’t even imagine the spiral
    reach of such a learning.

  3. Like the clever narrative here – so much in so few words. A real sting in the tale.

  4. ruleofstupid says:

    Nice micro- version of the theme here 🙂

  5. archcardinal says:

    I am assuming ‘left’ would be a departure from the hospital or an exit from the world itself. Either way, cowardice isn’t acceptable in several cultures (not in mine at least). He might have been shocked to find out that his worst fears would not be confirmed… Oh well, in Japan he will be a good candidate for Sepuku…

    • I cannot imagine a mindset where
      one would take a test and be unwilling to face the result. I was dumbfounded to hear this story (a true one). You are right–cowardice is the word for what this man did. Either that or a complete lack of responsibility for his safety or the safety of others. Hah. In my country (well, my state anyway), women have to take an HIV test when they are admitted to the hospital, in labor, unless they have had one in their physician’s office beforehand. No escape for laboring women, to protect and treat new babies, is admirable, and I applaud it. To refuse to take responsibility for one’s own disease status, control spread, and perhaps (if one is not so selfish) protect the health of a partner, is reprehensible. Okay, off soapbox now.

  6. Jeremy Nathan Marks says:

    Of all of the apocalypse poems you have posted I find this one speaks to me the most about mortality.

  7. Courage is all it takes, but it is not as simple.

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