The scariest thing about cancer
is my own body fighting against me
with cells stuttering and stacking
like a deep hidden obsession
I never learned to let go of.
The crater cut into the side of my face --
a bullet hole, an excavation, an empty mineshaft,
filled with questions no one but the universe
has the answers for. It's a dark ugliness
I show myself like an outdoor silent movie.
There is pain in places I've never imagined,
my smile tugging on the edges
of the star-shaped, pursed rim of flesh
shrunken half its size by the pull
of an invisible string for vanity
in the guise of healing.
But the thing that hurts the most
is the pale face of my child, the light sweat
collecting on their brow, the clutching
of their stomach as the reality of cancer
finally sets in. It's a fear
I can't find the words to allay.