Sample Essay

When I read this poem it was obvious to me that it was somehow referring to sex. I did not immediately see the homosexual connection, but when I considered that it was written about AIDS, I saw how a person might make that connection. When I think about it in a logical sense, I can see how the main protagonist is concerned about his own death. How he is conflicted by his own sexuality and how attractive the danger is for him. The reference to the needle in his arm is another reference to AIDS, given how HIV can spread among drug users. It is also a reference to the euphoric feeling that follows sex. This euphoric feeling is what drives the two men Brad and John.

It is apparent that the subject is attracted not only to them, but with the prospect of having sex with them as well. The two attractions are not mutually exclusive. He wishes to lose himself in that euphoric feeling, to forget life and its challenges. But he also realizes that what they want is death for all of them. In the end the question becomes who is the bigger fool, the one who questions the risk of euphoria, or the one who seeks death. Before the subject can make a decision though and give in to his desires, the choice is taken away from him. It goes into the crowd where the subject watches his chances at both life and death slip away.

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