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(Singing While Drowning): Cancer. A Poem.

(Singing While Drowning)
It’s past midnight
and you’re lying on your side on
white starchy sheets
in a room off a beeping ER hallway.
An IV line is plugged into
your right arm, and saline
salt water has been dripping
into you for several hours now.
You banter with the blonde nurse
with the long pony-tail, who agrees
she doesn’t know why you’re still
here either, since the prismatic
lights have stopped obscuring your vision.
Some clock-less time later, the cute
doctor with the gold wedding band
rolls his pleather stool toward
your stainless steel cradle.
He tells you something
that slides off your brain like oil, so you
ask for something to write on, which
ends up being a torn cover from the
scratchy off-brand tissues.
You write down the numbers you’ve
asked him to repeat, as though pinning
the words like a moth will
prevent them from shifting into your lungs
to drown you.
2 16 13

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