Oh, this poem. When I first read it my long-ago friend Marty shimmered up in my mind, small thin Marty who came to the creative writing classes I taught at the Minnesota AIDS project when I first moved to Minneapolis. I used to bake muffins to pass around and Marty loved them, blueberry especially.
Once, when he and I were in the parking lot talking after class, he reached out and filched a third muffin from the basket. It wants to be free, he said, with that sly smile of his, I’m just liberating it. You’re long gone now, Marty, along with so, so many others from back in those pre-medicine days, but I promise I still see you, and every time I bake blueberry muffins I think of you.
72 Corona Transmutations (excerpt), by CAConrad
Rex told me
when he was
dying of AIDS
promise me every day of 1993
will be the best day with or without me
27 years later