A Nigerian child is cradled by arms
That may not be there tomorrow
And in the years that follow
She’ll be joined by millions
Of others
Whose mothers
Traded a virus
For school supplies
For tools to end her baby’s hunger cries
Numeric distortions
Give rise to pandemic disproportions
Her situation
Paints a direct correlation
Between AIDS—and poverty
If she can’t feed her family
She’s more likely to adopt other means
And it seems
Her power of negotiation
Is limited
She’s desperate
And the trick
He knows this
So he’ll ask for sex with no condom
And with outstretched hands
She’ll concede his demands
She only wants to feed her children
Unconscious choices
Muted voices
Span continents
And the silence
Is deafening

Meanwhile across the world
John attempts to explain to his favorite girl
He wasn’t homosexual
He just liked to sleep with men                                                                                                         and other women

Then again

He wasn’t hurtin’ anybody
Meanwhile
Antibodies
Crept like late night phone calls
And whispers behind closed doors
He’d waged a silent war
On her life
Her mind
Rewinds
To late nights
Of too much lust
And too much trust
Built on self esteem that was never high enough
Unconscious choices
Muted voices
Span continents
And the silence
Is deafening
#WorldAIDSDay2012

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