Terminal Diagnosis [Today's News Poem by Khakjaan Wessington, June 1, 2012]
My cat's canned food will still be edible when my mother
dies and my cat will
outlive my mother, who I have
known longer than I will know her.
And the receptionist I flirt with every week imagines
she's displeased me with her boundaries, so she
pouts whenever she sees me ignore her now—I will know her
longer than I will know my mother;
even though even that relationship will expire
and when we part, we will depart
in a little death.
I never needed to talk to the sun to know
it gave me life; and I have never
told the sun I love it—for I
love it—for it to know it.
I'm grave, but I lack gravity.
I float away in smoke, as numb
as sleepiness, and feel the fullness
of my life—as dream and not as memory.
I have no state of mind, for I
am mind. I have no youth, I've swapped
it with my mother's age. She sleeps
and if she feels some shame, it passes
for what's next my love, what's next?
Retirement's a hospice love.
Shed your embarrassment.
Weep blood, mucus and vomit,
but not tears my love.
I will never announce all your sorrows
to justify your dignity,
but everything sorrowful I can ever imagine
is related to your sorrows.
And if I am pitiless, it is because nobody pitied you,
neither do you pity yourself.
And I am learning not to pity you,
even as you ungrow to awkward
girlhood, then pain, then death.
“I don't know what to say”
and open up a shade
so light adorns her lap,
a jaded, leafy light.
I say... I say... I say...
“Say nothing. Stay.”
“Global cancer cases are projected to rise 75 percent by 2030, in part because many other diseases are being stamped out and more developing countries are adopting Western lifestyles linked to cancer, international health experts reported.”
—Associated Press, Updated: Friday, June 1, 8:48 AM;
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