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