The Laughter.

Ricke Rahmond, 1979-2013
Ricke Rahmond, 1979-2013



When he asked

if I liked it,

the bright

yellow paint


with purple

where the

crumbling ceiling

met the

cracking wall,

time stopped

for long enough

to watch our

precious moments

together replay

in my mind.


I always loved

whatever his

spidery fingers


the art, the music,

the fluidity

in dance,

the long

firm hug,

the trustworthy

hand held

through a crowd

thick with

pulsating youths.


Unlike everything else,

I didn’t like it,

this Pollock-y

matte paint.

I didn’t like

how the purple

attacked the yellow,

sunshine struggling

through bruises,

surfacing in

painful patches,

fighting for breath

as purple spread,

smothering yellow

before my eyes:

a rash,

an infection,

an aggressive disease.



Three months later

I trembled

in a doctor’s

conference room,

cold white and

stainless steel,

surrounded by

his best friends,

mother, and aunt.

Ricke knew

what the doctor

would say.

We all did.

Our heartbeats

were audible

as the file opened

and words

spoke aloud.

He told me

in the yellow

and purple.

He knew

and I knew

that he was

a frightful

kind of sick

and life

was on a



Eleven years

and three

lifetimes ago

we sat on a

Southside curb,

watching traffic pass

in silence.

Eleven was always

his number,

but that

wasn’t his year.

Twelve months in

and HIV


the yellow

I once knew,

tearing him

apart and





I miss

his laughter

the most,

the way his

expressive face

exploded into

violent fits of

contagious hysteria.

I’ve never laughed

as much as

I did with him,

my Ricke,

my best friend,

my soul-brother.

Somewhere near

his laughter floats

atop gentle winds,

swirling through

creeping tendrils

of pumpkin vine

and mighty arms

of sunflower,

and he’s happier

than he ever

was in life.

He is everything

he could never be:

he is free …

Free from

the burdens

of damaged body

and mind,

free from time

and pain,

from longing

and endless


free to laugh

and be the joy

he always was,

trapped within

the suffering.

He’s free

to embrace

the living with

his loving laughter,

our Ricke,

riding upon his

comforting winds.



Renee Novosel

All Rights Reserved

Copyright 2014


Ricke and Renee, Renee and Ricke, 2003
Ricke and Renee, Renee and Ricke, 2003

40 thoughts on “The Laughter.

  1. Dearest Readers,

    For a reason unknown, much of my formatting was deleted upon publishing The Laughter. After several failed attempts at editing and re-publishing, I’ve contacted the support team. I apologize for the lack of line spacing, and hope to fix it soon. If anyone has any advice, lay it on me!

    Thank you for reading!



  2. Extremely heartrending poem, wonderful work!
    All the yellow in the world IS being blocked out by purple, isn’t it? 😦

  3. This poem really moved me, great sound and flow, enjoyed the structure, and the story and its telling was really wonderful. Thanks for blogging it, and thanks for following and liking my writing, best wishes and many blessings Charles.

  4. In the least generic, impersonal way this can be said, I’m so sorry for your loss. I think this is an incredible piece and the fractions of your experience echo out from the poem so vividly. Thank you so much for following me, I feel so blessed that such a beautiful mind wants to read my work. Much love x

    1. I thank you deeply for taking time to read about a person that the entire world should’ve known. Your support means so much. Thank you in turn for sharing your words with the world. Each poem shared proves that we’re never as alone as we sometimes feel. ♡

  5. Thanks for sharing this experience with us. I’m really sorry for your loss, the encouraging part is that death doesn’t put an end to love. The truth is I always look forward to reading your work. You’re such an incredible writer…

    1. Thank you very much, Kemi; your encouragement truly means a lot. There’s a beauty to be found in suffering’s end, despite the pain of those left behind.

  6. Getting people to care about personal stories is difficult in my opinion – especially when one can’t relate such as in my case. But I cared. Beautifully written.

  7. Colors flow in and out of life. Right now, my color is sky blue…feelings of expansiveness found in shared humanity from your lovely poem.

  8. Having lost my first wife to cancer these many years ago I know the difficulty of working through this pain and loss in poetic statement. All I can say is… thank you!

  9. Thank you for coming back with my work I appreciate your time.
    And thank you again for sharing something so personal about someone you love, I should be glad to be remembered in the same kind of away my someone who loves me when I leave.

    1. Thank you also! You’re a beautiful writer. Honoring loved ones in death is all that the living have left when they’re gone; sharing his memory means very much to me.

      1. You’re welcome we have little to share with each other but our understanding and our compassion, which are priceless. May the depth your pain gifts you with always exceed the depth of your pain, and the boundaries of your joy wider than that which can be measured.

    1. You are so very welcome – I am honored by your connection with this piece. We share so much love and pain in this life, and although sometimes the pain feels entirely lonely, we are never alone in it. I hope your day is a beautiful one.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s