Give Me Something Better
I’m in the kitchen
At three in the morning
Throwing dice across the table
Because I’ve got nothing better.
Nothing better than this long
Unease of rubber meant to keep
Me hanging, keep me from dying,
Keep me flying from fear, the fear
That I will never make it to Italy
Before the cancer leaps from a
Smolder, to a full-blown blaze.
I am afraid to begin new treatments;
The way those drugs stuff cotton between
The convolutions of my brain, making it
Impossible to read, think, or write. I often
Read the same sentence, the same paragraph
Under a flight of gossamer wings, hell-bent
On denying me my one drink of happiness.
But my bones will not surrender their need
To move forward, even as my legs shuffle
Across the floor. One knee lifts into the air,
Another slips backwards, like they are trying to
Remember what they were born to do, walk,
Without pain, and some illusion of control.
I am tired of inept, invisible puppeteers
Jerking me from the sky, tangling my processions.
I don’t want to be wedged against the mercy
Of a quality of life that abounds with slippage
And detours, absent of warmth and zeal,
Like being able to dance for no longer than three
Minutes without my leg muscles crying; or
Being able to do anything after 7:30 at night.
Night, when stars sing, night, when city lights pop
Against a silhouette of theaters, movies, dinners.
Night. Love, and the right to think, that I deserve the night.
Did I not kill enough dreams?
Did I not attend enough of my own funerals?
Better to be skewered, than to emerge with
Shattered limbs, and tedious effort that gates
Around the shadows… of… a me, in chains.