“Ros and Guild, 1994” by Arlene Ang

Arlene Ang


Hyacinthus opens sky for ICU bedders
with the sky bloodied a blue so blue.

We pledge in Latin our mutated love:
‘carinii pneumonia …
Kaposi’s sarcoma …
Mycobacterium avium …”

My arm vines your nape for a kiss;
you scratch a furtive glance at the IV pole.

We make love holding hands instead—
Latin is now our embrace.

And love—this bright, corpuscular love—
is the endless despair of never coming back.

—from Rattle #11, Summer 1999

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