Elegy for Gaëton Dugas


             

who picked up men wherever he went


who donated his blood


who I am the prettiest one


who donated


The Appalling Saga of Patient Zero


whose zero meant O as in letter O as in


Out of California & though


AIDS came to the United States in 1959


& before that, central Africa, about 1930


who did not slaughter a chimpanzee for meat


but who The Monster Who Gave Us AIDS


donated his blood to


slides to lab tests to electron microscopes


who The Columbus of AIDS


let the tip of the needle draw his blood


for more       a vaccine       a scape       an answer but who


was a strange guy at the Eighth and Howard bathhouse


a blonde with a French accent


who said, Gay cancer. Maybe you’ll get it too.


although who at that time could


not have possibly known


that what he had was transmitted


through sex though a publicist


who, for a book on the subject, stated,


It’s the worst kind of yellow journalism


& said, Don’t blame Randy


who admitted to making it up to compete for sales even


though Patient Zero: The Man Who Brought AIDS


to California whose zero now coming


to mean the first


who spread it       despite being the first


who did extend one bone white arm


who made a fist


& who could, at once, at first

see the

vein

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