Remission by Robert Beveridge

I need you
like Eliot needed April
like Pound needed Jews

Cancer is so named
because its malignancy
spreads like crabs’ legs
engulfs more of the body
each day

you started with my ears
my eyes
burrowed in under
fingernails and tongue
a torture so tipped
with sugar
I didn’t recognize it.

The grey season.
Stand in the rain and stare
at light behind the blinds
in your bedroom window.
Kiss my fingers, taste
your carcinogen sweetness
beneath, a scent of the cherries,
maybe, the Nazis used to flavor
nerve gas, or the almond-saccharine
tinge of cyanide.

You’ve burrowed deep
seized the chest cavity
in your crustacean fingers
and squeezed
squeezed until my senses shut
with the sweetness

and then let go
cited passages from Rimbaud,
Barker, the Old Testament
thou shalt not suffer
a bitch to live
even clean and sober.

I have found
the old wisdom is true
sometimes the remission
is more painful than the disease

Robert Beveridge makes noise ( and writes poetry just outside Cleveland, OH. He went through a messy divorce with Facebook some months ago, and as a result his relationship with time is much improved. Recent/upcoming appearances in Pink Litter, The Algebra of Owls, and Main Street Rag, among others.

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