The young man never stopped smiling,
as he described his Georgia mornings,
filled with reefer and medication.

It took my mind off the troubles
in my mindhe explained, handing
me a thick ream of papers.

T-cells, viral loads.

He watches television all day.
Likes the science fiction channel best.

We retest him, a formality. Nothing
will change except the protocol.

He leaves for the day, still smiling.
It’s the first time he’s ridden the N train
by himself. He says he’ll be okay, make
it safely back to Brooklyn.

If he has his way, he’ll never see
another Georgia morning.

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