I remember one day in summer, 1986,
I sucked through a box of cheap popsicles,
even the banana ones which I detested.
We had orange juice in the ice tray,
toothpicks sticking out. It was hot then.
We didn’t know dad had six years to go.
Ronald Reagan stood beside American flags,
the gay couple down the street had AIDS
and we were told to stay far away from them.
I ate cornflakes with chocolate milk while
my friend Pete ate cornflakes with water.
I kissed Jessica in a tent in the backyard
and later asked my mom if you could get AIDS
from kissing. She looked at me suspicious.
One day, Pete threw a rock through the gay
couple’s window and all they saw was me
running away. I got the blame, spanked by dad,
and had to do extra chores all summer to pay
for a window I didn’t break. After that, I hoped
Pete would have to eat his cornflakes with water