for Jimmy Mack

This colossal quilt of quilts,
embroidered signatures stitched in
a montage mixing metaphor and
with lives appliqued to fabric:
           scraps of denim, whole teddy bears,
     satin moons and velvet stars, clues,
                  fragments, broken shards,
leads us map-like through the vast
         gray ash of death
to some dead volcano's back
                 on which a blaze of orchids
      blinds the night, a radiant sun
of remembered souls.

On seeing the AIDS's Quilt at M.I.T.
September 23, 1990

All written material © Bill Schechter, 2016
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