This disease is a motherfucker. It lies to us in our own voice.
So, please: be careful. We may do each other
as much immeasurable harm as immeasurable good
when we get together—once weekly in a moon-
less annex of the community health center, soon
to be absorbed into the hospital conglomerate metastasizing
its way across these black forests—though we hope
to tame that animal we share, or at least, to muzzle it.
But I think it’s less about acceptance of how we change than
the social worker would have us believe, and more about the fear
we carry through the rest of each month, when we don’t. See,
I know that we can love the dangerous creature we are at night,
so how do we love the form of the powerless, naked body
it takes by day? How do we howl when the sound is lost?
The monster will take what it wants, that is what makes it
our monster, but how can we tend to the sleeping beast?
© 2019 Julian K. Jarboe