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,
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.