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Recurrence

I stand on shore,

deformed, a little broken,

with a high-but-we-can-never-say-exactly-what
percent chance

of living the same length
of life I would have led

before this disaster at sea.

She floats out at sea now,
on a sneaky life raft with a life all its own.

My breath can do nothing to
keep the raft afloat.

Physicians—their breath can
help, for a while.

They bob in the waves near
her with their equipment,

trying to patch up the holes

that no one can find.

Everyone is watching from
shore, wondering the same thing:

Can the doctors’ breath
blow her back to shore again?

I call to her, but I don’t
know if I am one of those

she wants to talk to right
now.

Before her cancer returned,
we were just getting to know one another,

sitting side by side in the
sand,

staring out at the sea from
which we’d emerged,

bruised and dripping.

I wave to her now,

hope she can hear the song
I sing to her.

Wishing so much that she
will join me on shore again.

 

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