This is the book of three
Diseases. Close it, and you’re caught
Running from my life, nearer its end now
That you’ve come so far for a man
Sick in his blood, left lung, and mind.
I think of him mornings
I wake panting like a runner after
His best time. He sweats. He stops
Facing what burned. The house
That graced this open lot was
A red brick. Children played there—
Two boys, their father actually
Came home. Mama cooked
As if she had a right to
The fire in her hands, to the bread I ate
Before I saw doctors who help me
Fool you into believing
I do anything other than the human thing.
We breathe until we don’t.
Every last word is contagious.
Previously published in The New Testament (Copper Canyon 2014)