Fall 1993 • Vol. XV No. 4 Science, Science Fiction and Poetry |

Aids and the Poetry of Healing

Now you were tired, and yet not tired enough--Still hungry for the great world you were losing Steadily in no season of your choosing--And when at last the whole death was assured, Drugs having failed, and when you had endured Two weeks of an abominable constraint, You faced it equably, without complaint, Unwhimpering, but not at peace with it. You'd lived as if your time was infinite. THOM GUNN, "Lament" The coughing fits continued to worsen until by three in the morning he was doubled over on himself, sweating copiously, almost unable to talk. He likened the pain in his right flank to a hot knife. An invisible torturer stood beside his bed, silent, red-eyed, and mechanical, as tall and malevolent perhaps as one of the digital infusion pumps by which he was receiving intravenous medication. I rubbed my eyes as I hovered above the bed, listening to his lungs, listening to his story of the pain: when it came on, what made it better, what made it worse, how much blood in the

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The Distant Moon

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Now you were tired, and yet not tired enough--Still hungry for the great world you were losing Steadily in no season of your choosing--And when at last the whole death […]

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