Your Voice In The Chemo Room

By Max Ritvo

There is a white stone cliff over a dropping slope
sliced along with bare trees.

In the center of the cliff is a round dry fountain
of polished stone. By seizing my whole body up

as I clench my hand I am able to open
the fountain into a drain, revealing below it

the sky, the trees, a brown and uncertain ground.
This is how my heart works, you see?

This is how love works? Have some sympathy
for the great spasms with which I must open

myself to love and close again, and open.
And if I leapt into the fountain, there is just no

telling: I might sever myself clean, or crack
the gold bloom of my head, and I don’t know

onto what uncertain ground I might fold like a sack.

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