For now

Shy as beaked whales,
my metacarpals surface
from the swollen sea

of my downstream hand,
breaching a bruised
ocean, a flood of healing.

A mile away, ALS gathers
the last of my friend, whose
eyes no longer contain her.

If dying were personal
and malice medical, it
would look like this:

ruthless, relentless,
clear and brittle
as diamond.

Encircling the repaired
shoulder and biceps,
life gathers me

in its dauntless net,
responding, renewing,
rebutting the tenacious tug

of mortality.  Late in my
mammal life, I belong yet
to the body I assumed

as a child, before I knew
what time meant,
what flesh implied.

Her brother reads
to fading ears, Gibran’s
The Prophet.  A whisper,

perhaps, and then
the last sense
coalesced, or dispersed;

how would we know?

She leaves.

I stay, hold my own
emerging hand, feel
life’s dogged grip

on my place
in this world.
For now; for now.







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