It’s not like in the movies
Composed of questions, quests
Dramatic bald heads nodding, bobbing, suffering
Projectile vomit and finite deadlines.
It’s quieter, wispier, more uncertain
Like those dirty flakes we once called hair
You finally shaved off slightly.
It’s sore palms and painfully cracked skin
It’s gaining weight when the steroids do you in
It’s quality of life, and it’s chemo
When venom in your veins is better
Than your own cells.
It’s watching you melt like a candle
As the poison slowly fills you intravenously
Feeling the dread and the gorge rising
When I exit like a coward because that’s not really you
It can’t be.
It’s jokes about stool and all the colors and consistencies
We could apply to oil pastels,
But this is not art
And on good days it feels like we’re faking it all
And bad days are hell, but we smile.
When I hear you cough my mind jumps to your funeral
And health class reminds me of the day you will die.
Thera-putrid are those days when your door is closed
And you sleep the hours away, and it’s almost escape
And I’m grateful for how much you hide from me
But even forgetting makes me ache.
Written September 2015, Emma Dumitra.
Photo Credit: Nana Dumitra.