The Early Leavers

An ode to my fallen comrades


Hey, how is it on the other side?

Is that, in fact, the actual light

at the end of the tunnel?

I feel guilty for outliving all of you

that succumbed to the AIDS virus

or died of Drug Addiction

I don’t know why my time card has

not been punched yet but

I will tell you…

you are not missing much



Us vs. Them

You vs. Me

Rich vs. Poor

Black vs. White

Police vs. Criminals

and there are so many shades

of grey that you can become

dizzy with confusion at all the

Inconstancies and hypocrisies


I never married or had children

I guess I never bought into the

American Dream anyway

Do I feel blessed? Lucky?

that I made it this far?

I suppose I do

partially out of guilt or fear

of being wrong otherwise


Do I embrace life? waking up

every morning to hear the

Birds sing?


I did get clean and sober

but it has been a culture shock


Does this passage seem

like the writings of a self- absorbed

Debby Downer?


but the only comfort I have

in losing all of you at such

early ages and or

sad circumstances

is that maybe you have it better than me

and are able to laugh at the

earlier spaces and places

and all the pressures

that went with it


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