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barnes and noble


Voices are underwater, faces are Vaseline, smells are electric,
words are paint spills and I can’t feel a goddamn thing.
An hour ago he called me in and he asked me to
wait and he told me to sit and he told me the News.
Now I’m just staring at the wall behind him.
His head is on the table and I can’t bring myself to look at him.
He’s crying.
He shouldn’t be crying but he is and I can’t stop him and
I want to stop him and put my arm around him and let
him know that everything is going to be okay.
But it’s not.
And it’s me, not him, who needs my arms.
There have been no pains no lumps no rashes no bumps
no marks no scratches no sores no fucking anything.
And now I’m staring at the x-rays hanging on a light box behind my
doctor’s head, a glowing abstract black and white light littered with shadows.
Cancer. Everywhere.
“You should be dead. You should be grateful.”
His voice is underwater. I’m twenty-eight years old.
My wife is eight and a half months pregnant with our first child.
And maybemaybemaybe if I’m lucky I’ll see three more months.
My doctor is crying.
I am not dead.
And I am not grateful.

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