My Time of Dying

I wrote this poem in December 1984.

San Francisco’s gay men were hit hard by the AIDS epidemic: the sick and dying were everywhere and no one really knew how HIV was transmitted.

As the number of cases increased most of the healthy men I knew thought they were they were going to sicken and die.

The press called us the worried well.

With cases of AIDS becoming more widespread every week, the United States is undergoing a second, related epidemic–fear of AIDS.  The Chicago Tribune August 1985

I was 31. This is how I wanted to die.

If now is my time of dying
let it be a time of giving
a time of joy
an exchange of one gift
for another
to be part of the plan
aware of the plan
God grant me grace
in this interlude
this movement foreword
this final act of life.

‘My Time of Dying’ Rob Goldstein 1984-2019
 Portrait of Rob Goldstein by Nina Glaser