Death By Division
(Inspired by comments on a friend’s death
from AIDS circa 1990)

Like a cuckoo’s egg
In a robin’s nest,
The invader hid as one among millions,
Stealing shelter and nourishment, unnoticed.

Biding its time
Waiting to strike.

A receptive disciple
And a swift conversion,
Now there were two, then four, then eight.

Increasing in galloping geometric progression.
A covert army
Collecting its strength.

One by one
But thousands at a time
Each converted cells saps my remaining strength
Until there is none left and my body dies.

But it is only my body . . .
Not my soul.