I miss not being able to show my body.
I miss no one wanting it.
I miss not being able to take sun.
I miss my pre-medication days.
I miss the year before last—
No, better yet, I miss my pre-AIDS days.
Something I miss—
this list could go on and on.
But you know what?
I’m working on the here and now.
Better yet, I’m working on the future.
"I’ll tell you how the poem 'Something I Miss' came to be written. I was running a creative writing workshop at another agency and I had made ten poetry exercise suggestions in the form of short phrases. I put the written phrases on pieces of paper in a bag and passed them around the room. But there were only 9 people—and I made ten. So I took the last exercise myself. And the exercise phrase I drew was 'something I miss.' So that’s how this poem came about.
"Right now I’m doing a project called 'Welcome to A Work in Progress.' It’s my PowerPoint slide show, with all my work on it. Designing it and putting it all together gives me another way to be artistic. And I love it.
"With poetry I’ve found a way to express myself, to raise questions, and to tell stories with very short, statement-like writing. I danced for 26 years, but I don’t dance anymore. Since I can’t move about as greatly as I used to, poetry is another way for me to move about, another way for me to be expressive. I guess I can’t keep the art down."
monté has been an active participant in the ASC Creative Writing Workshop for the past three years. His poems have appeared in the sixth, seventh, and eighth editions of ASC’s literary magazine, Situations. monté is a graduate of the Zwickler Memorial Poetry Leadership Program at ASC, and now guest-teaches poetry workshops at the agency.