waitress poems

Monday, August 07, 2006

An Opening

In the body. When you’re young,
it’s only sex,
the blinding distractions
of light. Now hospital scenes

My uncle Frank
stubble-faced and weak
after surgery for cancer
of the larynx
sneaking a smoke
in the bathroom.

Or Katie, the friend we envied
for her perfect body.
After what they called
exploratory surgery,
I stood in a room bleached with sun
and watched her sleep,
hands folded obediently
on her lap.

In memory, I stood like that
for days,
just studying those hands.
But in truth,
it was only moments
before her eyes snapped open
revealing the secret
of her fate,

Of mine.

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