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.


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