After His Diagnosis

By Margaret Hasse

So how will it end?
You want it straight?
 
He looked me in the eye:
You will lose weight,
 
Become more and more tired.
This kind will not enter your bones or brain.
 
I stared at him, ravished.
Could not pluck my eyes from his old man face.
 
 
Later the cuneiform earth
Skimmed in snow
 
Inviolate bones
Torn ligament of language.
 
A skeletal beauty
Stars still uncover.
 
 
Come dawn a young doctor
In reddening shirt sleeves,
 
His voice quick, prickly undersong—
No grandeur here,
 
Just breath assuaging its own battery.
Flash of sempiternal spring?
 
A bus ride, M98 jolting along Lex
Under the El latticework of light—
 
We must get you well again,
Set you free to summer.
 
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