We get mail. New York poz guy Felix Garmendia submitted some of his poetry to us. We liked it. Take a read.
My journey begin in 1987
The dreaded diagnosis that everyone feared the most
I was devastated, defeated, terrified at the news on the phone
it was the dark ages of HIV and AIDS
A death sentence
The music stopped
I was decorating my Christmas tree. I never put up another one.
The whole idea of god died in me
and my journey had just begun… on my own, like it always should have been
The man I loved stayed by my side, but the friends vanished without a hug or a goodbye
I had a critical choice in life
To let go and die, or fight
The last one I chose
I went through the darkest nights I have ever survived
And there was the key
No reason to believe anymore I was just about to die
It’s been twenty five years since I heard those words
There’s a vague memory of a green wall
But the pain is gone!
I made it go!
I decided to not let this be my stop
I don’t carry regrets. I’m not looking anymore for someone to blame
I’m at peace with my fate, my mind is clear and my will is bright!
There’s a strength in everyone of us
The heart that beats
The eyes that cry
In everyone of us there’s a warrior waiting to fight
I fear no man, no curse of god.
After years of slavery I found and owned my soul.
No dark words can touch my heart and only love can make me smile.
Decades on this earth have taught me to survive the winters of my mind,
the autumn’s of my age, and the future of my nights.
I fear no darkness, dogmas or chains.
In the sunset of every day, I rest my head safely to sleep between the arms of my loving man.
I try not to judge or accuse others of living their life, because
I have learned to live without a god, his sins and their followers’ words that hurt like knives.
I fear no evil, I fear no hell or heaven that is promised for the “chosen” ones.
I fear no one that thinks differently,
or prays or lies.
My life is full of yesterdays that showed me my way through days and nights.
I found my present alive in my hands.
I have learned to live without regrets.
I have enjoyed my life,
without the fear of hell or the absence of light.
Standing on my tired feet, I look ahead.
I walk ahead and past the fire of guilt, resentment and hate.
Here I am, another day, another chance, to understand that there is no one who can forgive myself
like I can.
I fear no death, I fear nothing but the lack of will to keep up with my fight.
About the writer: My name is Felix Garmendia. I was born in Ponce, Puerto Rico in 1961. Moved to New York City in 1988 and tested positive for HIV in 1989. I live with my husband Denis Beale in Manhattan. I taught art in the N.Y.C public school system for fifteen years until a disability forced me to retire in 2005.