This was written before my first open lung biopsy.
What He Should Have Said
So that you can run down the street at night,
with the cars all parked on the sidewalk
even though your heels have not healed yet.
So that the rains will return,
and you will have the time to read,
how the man who worked for me,
and lived with paint chips in his hair,
died in bed suddenly of a bad heart.
So that what first felt like an insult to the flesh,
will later make your body burn
with the joy of being alive,
like a fire through which the wind has carried.
So that you can foster a chihuahua
that someone shot in the face
then tried to set on fire and watch
the dog shivering in the backseat
on the long way back to Pittsburgh.
So you can have your heartbroken a few more times, and say things like:
it is the evil ones who ought to be a dying,
in this world the beautiful should never be broken,
and that the dog who sits up all night licking the pillow
should be the judge of all of us.
Let the nurse shove a needle the size of a plunger
into your back to pull out lung tissue,
which looks like a black star on the scan,
and fold your hands in some sign of respect
while she stops for a minute and says:
That’s it, relax,
It’ll go better for you if you don’t resist,
Lean back just a little, against me.
What's something that was said to you during treatment that made an impact on you?
Photo courtesy of Paul Gilmore