The Doctor, Part 97

The way my fingers fit
beginning at the sternum,
moving along
the rib bones,

each time I see
the Doctor,
each time I leave her office
it seems
easier
to say
“I am dying.”

OceanBeach_600

Photograph by Jeff Spirer

I asked again
to grab reality by the tail,
“what if I stop taking
all this medicine,
what if I
stop
doing
all this stuff
that makes me hurt,
that makes me
always
uncomfortable?”

she says she’s not sure
but
the studies show
a life expectancy of
six months
without treatment,

I reach
for
the bones in my back
when I scratch them
when I ask
feel like seashells
like an ancient trigger
to
let the water
pour out my eyes,
to
let myself hear it:

“I am dying.”

17 December 2014

–Sean Flaherty, November 15, 1966–January 4, 2015

Sensitive Skin 12 available here in PDF format here for just $4.95, or get the full-color print version via Amazon and select bookstores.