GEORGIA MORNINGS, by Puma Perl

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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