News & Publications
Featured Poem – March/April 2008

If we look
we’ll find
talk, recite
sing words of freedom
words of pain
words of comfort
words of confusion
yet so…similar

Our story
is simple
yet, like a map
diverges into many roads
different roads
different highways—
yet the same destination

Could we have simply
been lost drivers
looking for a destination?
A destination we could
call “home”?
Yes…this is Home.

Now I find
comfort, peace
within these walls

A place I can
trust my mind
to go wild

and let it play
in others’

Such beautiful words
Such magical beings

Can you understand who we are?
We’re poets
We…know it
and it’s not conceited
you see
for there is
Beauty in you
Beauty in me

Rosa Velez
About the Poet

“I wrote 'Similar' because it was Valentine’s Day and I wanted to give a gift to the people in the ASC Creative Writing Workshop. The poem is about our common bond in the group, and about all the ways my life is similar to the other people in the group.

“I never did drugs, but I’ve been in rough situations, too, living with a person who was a drug addict and the insanity he made me go through. In that, I can identify with everybody else in the group. I can understand the struggles they’re going through, with the HIV and the pain and suffering of trying to stay clean. I remember all the things I went through trying to keep my partner clean, knowing that he was a good person inside.

“My real family has become the AIDS community. Writing is my way of expressing all that is going on inside me. It’s my form of therapy. In Creative Writing, I always learn something I didn’t know before and hearing what other people say in the class inspires me to write more. It’s a ripple effect that keeps my creative juices flowing.”

—Rosa Velez

Rosa Velez joined ASC’s Creative Writing Workshop in late 2007 and graduated ASC’s Peer Recovery Education Program (PREP) in 1996. She does HIV/AIDS outreach at Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn and is currently attending ASC’s HOPE program. Rose is a visual artist who has studied at Parsons The New School of Design and at the Brooklyn Museum. Her poems are forthcoming in the next issue of ASC’s literary magazine, Situations.

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