I never want to know

the many things they did when

they flayed open my chest, my arm,

cracked my sternum and stopped my heart.

Blissful ignorance is what I needed,

and some drugs, buckets of them.

I was reminded too much of salmon,

gutted torsos, lungs, heart, parts.

But that’s how they do, these magicians,

these doctors with long pedigrees,

confidence and hubris.

Who wouldn’t want a doctor,

waltzing in, attendants parting like the

Red Sea, whatever music he wants,

when he holds you in his hands?

I got Springsteen for the angiogram,

whom I sung along with

until the bad news came,

when the world shifted,

and time coalesced in tears.

I hope my doctor played

the world’s songbook: didgeridoos, guitars,

bongos, canastas, pianos, ukuleles.

Dying listening to all kinds of music seems

an extravagance for dying isn’t elegant.

I’m here now, in morning’s silence,

choosing songs for a friend’s work,

of which she says, she’s stressed.

I want to tell her to stop,

watch the breaking clouds,

smell the ground after a night’s rain,

but it’s a luxury of healing,

forced meditation,

which I’ll have to remember

to do in my new life, my after/life.

Check in with me in a year.

Ask me what song is playing,

ask me the lake’s temperature,

the sea’s color,

how it is to be finally married.

My answers will be ready.

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