Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Ally Malinenko- Three Poems

10 Years Later

In the restaurant that evening
after spending the morning
my new cancer doctor
with her heavy accent
and her assurance that
everything would be fine
even after
I started to cry

In the restaurant that evening
I picked up a glass of wine
and thought about the champagne
we had ten years earlier
just hours after
the reverend had us join hands
and promise
in sickness
and in health

In the restaurant I held that glass high
and clinked yours and
looked you in the eye
and said

“Here’s to our worse”

Allyson Stop It

I’ve graduated from just the regular mammo
to a sonogram because the doctor isn’t sure
and it’s been six months since the cancer diagnosis
and not being sure isn’t an option

as I lay back on this table
with the low lights
and they spread the cold jelly across my
other breast
the healthy one
the one that I pray hasn’t also gone bad on me

because I only finished radiation six weeks ago
and I’m going to be on drugs for the rest of my life
my ovaries shut down
and I can’t help but think of a dark empty room

as she starts running the wand over me,
and the clicking and clicking
in the same spot
which is just what happened last June
when that hurricane appeared inside me

and I feel it right there,
the stairs that I started descending back in June
go in only one direction and it is down
and they will never stop
and I squeeze my eyes shut and try to think
about anything but diseased cells
and how this is starting all over again
my life stuck on this endless cycle
that will spiral down to an early death

before the nurse says
you need to calm down
I can’t do this unless you stop,
do you hear me,
Allyson you need to calm down,

Allyson stop it. Stop crying.

 And Yet

there are still moments like this
where I am utterly still
and I can feel my hands moving in sync
with my mind
the way they were supposed to move.
Not like lighting followed by thunder.
Not separate.
Not like double vision,
a drunk missing the keyhole
the way I feel like my body
is no longer mine
but instead
the enemy
but not today
as I lift
the ice cream cone
you bought me
to my lips
and all of Manhattan
raises in one voice to
sing your praise, my love.

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