H e a r t S o n s & H e a r t D a u g h t e r s of A l l e n G i n s b e r g
N a p a l m H e a l t h S p a : R e p o r t 2 0 1 4 : A r c h i v e s E d i t i o n
October 20, 1993
Happy birthday, baby.
Did they throw a big party for you
Were there lavender balloons everywhere
and white roses in tall crystal vases
and a big chocolate cake
with thirty-four candles glowing
in your eyes?
Was there a chorus of pretty boys
singing happy birthday to you,
their arms outstretched
wine glasses raised high,
your amber reflection in every one?
Was there laughing and dancing
and drinking and cruising?
Did you pick one special boy
to celebrate with
or were there many?
Two years ago
you told me you were dying
to have sex.
“At least I won’t need rubbers
in the after life,” you said,
no bitterness left in your tired voice.
Oh baby, there are no condoms in heaven.
There are no hospital beds, wheelchairs,
or catheters in heaven.
There is no AZT, DDL, KS or PCP in heaven.
Only all those pretty pretty boys like you
who went through hell to get there.
for Gerard Rizza, 1959-1992
[Originally published in NHS 1995, http://www.poetspath.com/napalm/nhs95/index.html#39.]