Remembering Little Joe

I’m not supposed to say how you died.
No one ever says it out loud.

We’re allowed to remember you:
Steph’s annoying little brother,
playing pranks on us
D & D Wizard,
the costumes your mom made
Chef extraordinaire,
making his name in NYC

We’re sometimes allowed to remember
the lover who died before you did.

You were never silent.
Geez, sometimes we’d wish you were!
Now, I wish we could still hear you,
shouting at us,

AIDS! It’s called AIDS,
and you’d damn well better
deal with it.

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