Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Ally Malinenko- Three Poems


I’m not sure how it even started.
I had one button, then two.
Then a third that someone gave me,
a few I picked up at museums,
until the collection grew
and now the whole front of my bag
that I carry on my five mile walk to work
is covered in buttons.

Who is that?
they ask on the subway
Oscar Wilde
I say
Fuck Hate,
that’s a good one.
Nice buttons, they tell me.

But today the radiation technician
came out while I was waiting
for the doctor.
I’ve got another button
for your collection
she said
and opened her hand.

The little pink ribbon
stared back at me.
I took it with trembling hands
as the old folks
around me nodded
and smiled

now indoctrinated
into a club
I never
wanted to be
a part of.

Black Star

Somewhere outside our solar system
in the dark the Voyager
is still playing the Beatles.
But here on this couch
I see the words in my head for awhile
before I say them out loud.
I settle on hollow.
I think about a silo
but instead say that I feel
trapped at the bottom of a very deep well
separated from everyone
and everything I have ever known.

Forever alone.

He tells me he could understand killing if it really came down to it.

There are stars in our sky that look like one
but are really two burning suns,
dancing around each other
a binary orbit
just one and one.

But there are also stars
that seem to dance around nothing
locked into orbit
around a black hole,
a nothingness
slowly spiraling down
tendrils of themselves
pulled loose
in this suicidal ballet

and I think
that is me
locked around
this disease.

and slowly coming undone.

Radiation Day 26

Today is Anna’s last day.
She and I sit alone in the waiting room
after I’ve turned down the blaring television.

I in my gown
and she in her clothes.
A line drawn,
a world of difference.

You’re finished today? I ask
Yeah, she nods, my last day.

That’s great, I say, Congrats.
10 more, I tell her
though saying it now it seems
too few
and still too many
as if I have lived a year of my life
here, in the chairs of this sad waiting room
and yet I’m not ready to be done.
Not ready for what done means.

I want to tell her she’s going to be fine
but Maria comes in
and sees Anna
and cries

Oh baby, we’re going to miss you so much
this place won’t be the same without you

They hug and I realize that’s all it takes
to love someone,
to be shoved in a room
scared shitless
of death,
with individual containers
of apple juice
and graham crackers. 

1 comment:

  1. All three poems were very poignant. My mother along
    with many others was very brave. May God Bless.