In the Cancer Museum

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In the cancer museum

I imagine where mine

would rest in peace and ease.

 

My eyes scan rows of organs:

Disney’s lungs on top of

Newman’s own racy pair;

 

Ingrid Bergman’s left breast

bump Bette Davis’ right—

indiscreet voyagers;

 

Audrey Hepburn’s colon

nesting Farrah Fawcett’s

like Tiffany Angels.

 

I saw my spot next to…

but the doctor called me

back to look at the scans.

 

He pointed out my growths

grouped in a triangle,

told me of their plan/cure-

 

called them clouds but they seemed

caterpillars vegging

out on my intestines.

 

I imagined them cocooning,

metamorphosing to

surgical butterflies

 

or staying just rounders,

yellow earrings just for

Audrey’s and Farrah’s lobes.

 

Then the doctor turned it

and the picture became

more terrible things:

 

rats, sharks, wasps all vying

for valuable shelf space

in the small gallery.

 

Tourists and soldiers from

the plane crash/war museum

wander in wondering

 

why there are no jet planes

reassembling in slow

motion horror, dog tags

 

melted into the seats,

flesh in the torn engines,

no screams of real terror,

 

just the crowd bumping and

marching into me in silence,

sometimes taking pictures

 

while piss yellow chemo

solution runs down my

leg in pupae slime lines.

 

The last one opens me,

looking for spikes of grief

or fury.  Finding none,

 

not even a cold tomb,

just a rip, tear, dim sounds

as the crowd echoes down

 

and surges out the door

for all the Holocaust

store souvenirs next door.

 

I hear my heart rustle

in the computer bytes,

the breath of trees

 

and swallows in my files,

a dusty cross inside

releasing butterflies

 

to the sky as I step

back and watch all

sucked into the blue.

 

“Do you think I got it

all in?” the doctor says,

snapping my last picture.

 

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