Before the AIDS vigil, a stranger showed me how to poke a hole in the bottom of the paper cup and slowly slide the candle through so the breeze wouldn't put it out. He did it suggestively and winked as he handed it back. His boyfriend passed his flame to me, and then we started off through the streets of DC. The two of them held hands the whole way, a V between them. This V wasn't for victory, but for vigilance. No one said a word. We filed around the reflecting pool under the trees in front of the Lincoln Memorial. It was a moonless night and Washington was filled with beautiful fire and men as far as I could see.
We started handing out condoms.
Robert R Angell (he/him) is a graduate of Clarion West Writers’ Workshop and a VCCA fellow. His work has appeared in Gargoyle, The Baltimore Review, Asimov's Science Fiction among others, and many anthologies. His LGBTQ YA VR AI SF romantic thriller, BEST GAME EVER, published in May 2019. His work has been translated into French and Chinese. Free stories and interviews can be found at rrangell.com