I had this dream where you found out
you had cancer and one day to live.
the doctor was certain it was cancer,
the symptoms were conclusive: you had
a slight headache and small fever.
if it was a big headache and a raging
fever it would’ve been something else,
something harmless. but the symptoms
don’t lie, he said. he said I’m sorry. one
day is all you have. don’t waste it.
that one day was spent happily without
sadness and without the feeling that
something was hanging over us, sharp
and then you were gone.
you left without display, just folded into
yourself, like a card table. and I began to
wail. then I woke up and was glad it was
only a dream and fell back to sleep and
back into wailing again without interruption
and then awake again. this happened a few
times, until the wailing became forced like it
was disconnected from the meaning. like
an actor on the 102nd performance of it.
and although the thought of my stage
crying over your death makes me uneasy,
makes me unsure of things, raises questions
of me as a caring human being, I know how
you view dreams like this, I know the weight
you put on interpretations and meanings, I
know how you can be, so I think it’s important
that you don’t put much thought into this and
try not to overanalyze and remember that you
are not really dead and when you do die I
promise to cry like I mean it.
originally published in MILK, #1