AIDS Researchers at Work and Play

Sam Friedman

As antediluvian AIDS researchers
write homilies of thanksgiving
for the lifesaving virtues and rubber flexibility
of latex condoms,
our aged libidos rest unflexed, unlubricated,
and utterly devoid of lust or any
non-statistical emotion.

In the cubicles outside our offices,
young analysts and intervention agents
meet, lust,
perhaps even perspire
to tides of love.
In their evening trysts and in wake-up quickies
after the alarm blares its notice of waiting work
and screaming subways,
their libidos flex and their bodies lubricate, scream and quake
as they smile their joy at finding partners against despair,
partners who know all about AIDS
so they need not even think about condoms
outside of work.
Somewhere inside them,
their smiles, contentment and orgasmic shudders are reflected
in the twisted contours
of a happy

Red River Review May 2003, p. 22.