The nurse chuckles when
I strike back: Are there alternatives
to my behaviour

A smile is not a ‘no’.
Spare me the side effect
cast as a sneer.


So I went home and filled
a condom full of PrEP.
I know they’ll shatter
when plastic hits plaster.


I sign up for a transnational trial
thinking: global public health;
the saviour of the modern world.

The trial sneers back:
Tenofovir. Emtricitabine.
Is there an alternative?


I am not positive; and now
I am not negative. I’m neither
healthy nor unwell.

I look at my bag; shake it.
Listen for the sound of health.
Is there no alternative?


Once, I fucked in a sauna. My legs
pressed against a squeaky bench.

Moist balls cracked on plastic,
angry shadows cut from the wall.

A volunteer held his ear to
the sweaty sepulchre.

Listen here, buddy.
This is an alternative.