restricted access Tryin' to Scrub that "Death Pussy"1 Clean Again: The Pleasures of Domesticating HIV/AIDS in Pearl Cleage's Fiction


Examining Pearl Cleage's What Looks Like Crazy on an Ordinary Day (1997), I read through pleasure and politics to explore how HIV/AIDS enters into the lives of black heterosexual women in narrative discourse. Threading disability studies and black "quare" theory, I investigate the pleasures of domesticating and converting the "threatening" poz character—integrating a perceived threat back into the social order as a mouthpiece for heterosexual, able-bodied normality. Because this domestication is not narratively casual or politically neutral, I highlight the investments, benefits, pleasures, and dangers of these narratives and discuss how they impact our understandings of blackness and disability.