Before and After the Diagnosis

Few creatures metamorphose sleeker.
Certain birds, with their deceptive fluffy trim,
become black slashes in the sky,
all swooping speed.
From the idea of themselves into themselves even fewer.

The world is toxic.
It has entered inside of you
the way time always allows what’s outside in.
In the blood,
a circulating reminder of the worst part of being human:
discovering that life is what is least to be relied upon.

I wrote then that I wished I could come to you slowly, with the city around me,
bringing windows and flowers and alleys and many other distracting things.
How to deal with this desire for your past self?
When I know you are desirous yourself.
It’s not as easy as cutting holes in a jumpsuit
for a child with three arms, or one with wings.

That you is a fantasy I dimly remember,
as if read in a book among several stacked up beside my teenage bed.
I’ve always been a history buff, but never a windmill tilter,
and the time I’ve logged, the counted hours, are slipping away from your transformed skin.

Steve Evans

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