* * * * *


Alan was so smart
He would actually inhale books
And then remember what they said
Explaining them to you
In new and coherent ways
Brave too, heroic even
Like Odysseus
Arriving back home
After a decade of imprisonment
       and life threatening illness
Ready to go to work
To provide AIDS care
To the most vulnerable
The homeless, the psychotic,
the orphans of Africa,
Breaking new ground
Invited to speak at the U.N.
Less than three years out
Of the dark and smelly jail cell
reserved for political prisoners
in the infamous
Marion Federal Penitentiary,
to emerge sane,
maybe even saner,
with a medical license
that has never been suspended.
Still a revolutionary,
whatever that means,
at any given place and time
the issue always tactical,
making decisions and choices
of great magnitude,
until he was