Pretty Good Flower

The night falls on my time alone.
They are the same, the time, the night.
I have I take I request I make I demand I require
this time and because you know me I never get past “I have”…

It is a spaghetti bowl, your hair on fire, a flower.
I am pretty good with a flower, especially one dying.
I can’t deny the metaphor.
I am a surgeon
I am pretty good with a disease, especially if you
Are dying.
It is the living with it that gets messy,
Where the tendrils curl on the nice neat thing.
If you are terminal the conversation, the me and you part gets simple, like water, clear.
If you are having to live with something, long term, and I don’t have an answer for you, if even and especially if that answer is Death, then
we have a problem and it is then that Western medicine feels like algebra
in a world of calculus.
Heed this: Go find a shaman. Come back to me, the surgeon, if and only if you have a knife hanging out of your gut. Otherwise we are dancing around fires that have smoke but no flame.

You are dying right now and you and I both know that.
I will switch back to me in my mind, as I hold your hand, because me is all I can handle in the moment of your ending and yet, I don’t know why, I remain here with you.
My dying, because I have no knowing about it, is meaningless,
No matter how inevitable it is, until
chest pain or a drunk driver or a slip and fall or any damn thing
moves me one step closer. Before the slippy step that provokes the obvious,
death remains a theory.
From that step, after it, from any step that wakes me up, like an EKG, a colonoscopy, a swerve
it gets ridiculously real.
Until the fear arrives, I remain aloof from the timeline of
my own inevitability, proud, forever 21, forever asleep, but vibrant, and hoping.

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