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Day 7: Love in the Time of PrEP by Jaques Rancort


Queer Poem-a-Day is a program from the Adult Services Department at the Library and may include adult language. 

Love in the Time of PrEP

by Jaques Rancourt

To see more clearly, we climb
……….the shifting sands
………………..of Haleakala Volcano.
The guidebook says we might be haunted
……….if the mist & the light

are just right & sure enough,
……….a rainbow haloes my head’s
………………..shadow. Brocken spectre
it’s called & Isn’t this awesome,
……….you, my dorky husband, say.

You are thinking about science again,
……….about how light & water particles
……….……….bounce & interact & refract
against each other, whereas I,
……….the melodramatic poet, see

some paranormal visitor,
……….some queer saint. Back home in bed
……….……….you tell me how in the early ’90s to you
coming out meant either you killed yourself
……….or you died from AIDS

& you chose to come out anyway.
……….Time moves like bluffs,
……….……….like erosion. It flattens
to rift & split. It carves down
……….the precipice like the runoff

we clambered up to find
……….the path already deteriorated.
……….……….I hiked in just flip-flops
& when a thong broke
……….I hiked in bare feet.

Let’s go back some day. Let’s go back
……….to where the ocean’s panorama
……….……….was endless & shimmering,
where the violets bursting forth
……….were reminders that the world

will go on generously without us.
……….In bed, I kiss you between
……….……….your shoulder blades & say,
I’m glad you’re here. North of us,
……….two freshmen are skipping class.

They are learning. They are taking turns
……….taking each other raw,
……….……….as if they alone are discovering
something new. As if none of this
……….ever happened.


Copyright © 2021 by Jaques Rancourt. This poem was published in his collection Brocken Spectre (Alice James Books, 2021).


About the Author

Staff headshot
Jacques J. Rancourt is the author of two poetry collections, Brocken Spectre (Alice James Books, 2021) and Novena (Pleiades Press, 2017), as well as a chapbook, In the Time of PrEP (Beloit Poetry Journal, 2018). Raised in Maine, he lives in San Francisco.

 

Queer Poem a Day graphic

Queer Poem a Day


Queer Poem-a-Day is directed by poet and teacher Lisa Hiton and Dylan Zavagno, Adult Services Coordinator at the Deerfield Public Library. Music for this second year of our series is the first movement, Schéhérazade, from Masques, Op. 34, by Karol Szymanowski, performed by pianist Daniel Baer. Queer Poem-a-Day is supported by generous donations from the Friends of the Deerfield Public Library and the Deerfield Fine Arts Commission.

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