Dense Breasts

Recondite illnesses of fateful obscurity

A snowball in a snow globe seen yet difficult to see

Unusually dense I failed each test

Winter settled in leaving flurries in my chest.

Scratched and scarred and moored by a port

I laid there waiting in pain and contorted.

“Go home get your affairs together.”

But there’s too much to tend to, my nest still to feather.

A future unknown with three tumors unseen

Cut my life down the center right in between

My eyes through the site of a two barreled gun.

The results signed by a doctor reads, “yes my PET, life’s over and done.”

But I raced away until I could no longer breathe

And decided that my life was too valuable to concede.

But when density was a meaningless number

Nothing to report no information for the owner

Secrets and lies and then one day a surprise

When the ultrasound found what the snow had disguised.

So here I sit nearing six years later

Among my affairs and hoards of paper

I decided that day I wasn’t through living.

And not doctors or nurses but I who needs forgiving.

It’s no ones fault when their born to possess

Two ticking time bombs planted in their chest.

There’s a gene a mutation that no one can find

So my kindred spirits in body and mind

Please look at me, doing well enough I hope

It’s cancer – not God’s punchline to a killing joke.

/https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2020/10/19/your-daily-word-prompt-Recondite-ydwordprompt-October-19-2020/

Soul Drunk

“Don’t wait” the first 
Invitation*, states.
Subject and verb meant
What I heard: it’s my turn.
These wasted times,
My healthy days numbered
Counting crows in a line.
Life and death married
And birthed you together
So don’t wait for
Tonight or for daylight
When winds kick up a mess
Of better yesterdays.
Sour mash in a dirty glass
Ice diluting the burning
Hoarse throats from thirst
So deserted, beyond quenching.
Straddling my legs up to the bar
And wild wet eyes find
You outside of the frames
pictures -you took them, too.
Stored in musty boxes
In basements and attics
All dressed up, obnoxious
When glasses obscured by
Bottle blondes divorced and lonely.
Time in the mind only reminds
Us of what no longer stabs at
Our hearts. Funny things:
Gene’s helixes and a pine’s cones
All the sacred plans for galaxies
Spun Nautilus shells and
The ringing bells in my ears.
Yet some refuse any sound
Like the dying refuse food.

Outside nature awaits and what sings
Of life alone in the flutter.
Nudging the willow tree’s long locks
A hummingbird wings create unrest.
Crying tiny drops of firelight
Candles leave wax rings
Worn into wood, married by ownership
And warning our bodies
in the dusk’s lazy sun adrift the sea
Winking goodbye as it hides for the night.
At home we take the complaints of stuttering billy goats
Where clamorous hens kick
At the roosters who forgot a nest
Or two. What about me?

It’s the way we all feel
Have they no idea
our children fled the nest -
Leaving their rooms full
Of their trophies
While we wait to sleep
In fitted sheets
Dug in graveyards with
Names like Star of David.
Smoothed over blue grass grown
Watching the dead proves
Equally as boring.
It doesn’t mean a thing
I mean that nothing was meant by it:
To say that at birth
We become life and death, as one
Intertwined together.
Growing taller, spinning
Until we grow dizzy and
Giggling in the know
Of moment we will fall
Carefully goes the innocence
Spiraling, radiating out
Of our mouths the
breath of love itself.
Rejoiced in our screams and cries.

A call to our guilty conscience
That wears heavy on our bones
Asking again to what ever we’ve
Said no. Must we unpack and
Put their guilt in the pantry
Set the table with the China
The sheets hang out in the
Golden dusty fields
Collecting the scent of
Late sunlight in baskets
After hanging up on the lines
With the rest of the whites
Faded and drying we remain
Dying in the sky tidally locked
Like the moon to the earth
And never once asking
For more than a simple goodbye
“One day we will meet again”
Though I never have
Known you in your own skin
Only under layered pelts
Like laundry hanging from your deserted bones.

Dare we share the bond
That darkness cannot control?
Isn’t that a woman’s fate:
to allow men to drink
Until they drain our souls?

*from Frank Ostaseski’s The Five Invitations, highly recommended on audio book as read by the Author.
“Don’t wait,” is the first invitation. One cannot live their entire life or tell all those they love how they feel, or forgive even yourself of any pain; it’s never too late, however.

Music Reactions: two friends with terminal cancer

youtube.com/watch

So, if you’ve not seen this video yet, you’ll find it entertaining, and perhaps a little sad. And perhaps you know Aimee Mann’s song, Save Me, from the film Magnolia’s sound track or if nothing else, I assure you’ll like the video. But it’s a hard song for anyone not to like. The video was created and edited by my good friend Rudy Fischman. Rudy has inoperable brain cancer, as well as two daughters and a wife – people with whom he wants to leave as much of a legacy of himself as possible.

He’s done a few more, and we’ve done several together coming to YouTube soon, so stay tuned. We’re enjoying our behind the scenes music banter as well as the time we share together developing a friendship that’s a marathon with some sprinting to catch up with the intent of a close friendship that may otherwise take years. It’s nit how long, but the quality it brings into our lives, mostly alone and misunderstood by the vast majority of those around us who don’t have terminal cancer.

Cancer friendships can end without warning. One of us will inevitably die first, and the other will mourn quietly and alone in our grief.

Rudy also produced the poetry episode 46 of The Brain Cancer Diaries by stop please watch and subscribe. You’ll find it here: Poetry Episode . It’s become a fan favorite and sadly Ben North died before it was filmed. Melissa Blank the second poet, died last week at home with her husband, listening to Nina Simone. I joined her death, quietly and alone; Rudy told me right as we began to film one of our music reaction video sessions. I put my face in my hands and asked, no one in particular, “why?” Why does cancer rob us of beautiful souls? It’s not a question so much as a statement.

It’s been another tough week, my friends, and I’ll give you a health update after I meet my new oncologist on Tuesday. In the meanwhile, farewell Ben and Melissa. I’ll carry the poetry torch in your honor best as I can, with dignity and the wisdom of your words whispering through mine. We did not need know each other to get one another. As I said, cancer friendships burn bright and quick sometimes. I’m the only one of the three of us still living. I can only believe that the survivors guilt I’m wracked with might be one of the culprits making my legs heavy with dangerous lymphedema and my belly round with at least six liters of ascites fluid, both side effucks of the radiation treatments I had back in October/ November 2020. Fuck cancer. Seriously.