Thursday, October 4, 2012

HIV/AIDS Poem Contest submission #8: "Orange Caps"

Orange Caps

By Miles Hamlin


In the midst of San Francisco’s cold, foggy streets,
Dampness chilling me to the bone,
I walk in darkness all alone.
Chemicals pushing through my veins,
Wandering streets without aim.
From the Wharf to Union Square and back again
I ponder life’s answerless questions.

Do syringes have orange caps for a reason?
Is it so nurses don’t lose track of them?
Perhaps they are like a neon sign, flashing;
A warning to junkies everywhere.

People talk about that amazing feeling they had
That first time they got high,
And rarely speak of every other time
When the high was just not quite enough.

Walking in the dark,
Thoughts intensely focused,
Feet moving too fast,
Blood pumping too hard,
Eyes open too wide,
Every little sound magnified
and I wonder…..

How high am I?
Am I even high at all?
I cannot decide.

Is there a graveyard somewhere
For all these used syringes with orange caps?
Or do they get burned with the bodies of the junkies
That came and went long before me?


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