December 19

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From the cancer ward a view, a dream
of a lake.  All this glass is sterile,

frosted– we soften everything
we can soften. Sometimes with meds.

I recall how, when half-crazed, you tried
to leave and carry off a decorative vase,

and your paintings got much wilder,
vivid wet. There is no crimson here,

only windows the color of sea-glass,
and clean lacquered pine. It is peaceful

and nice– so quiet, floors above
the street, the orderly bridges, elegant

rooftops, that I can hear blunt
dread roll in my stomach as I walk

the long hallways, feel the chart’s sharp
nomenclature like needle-sticks. I never

don’t remember. But I wear hope
and a smile as a cloak, say things like

it will get worse
before it gets better. And of course,

who knows,
it might

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