I’m crying for a woman that I don’t know.
My eyes are not suffused with red though my insides tremor
And the cadent quivering of my hands entice me
As mother gets off the phone and tells me that this woman,
family of family but no one to me,
All I can reason is that this shitty little life we’re given and whomever we pray to out of learned gratitude
Guiltlessly, mockingly, atrociously
Waits this ridicule of our lives
Our unessential breath
Her name is Sandy.
She’s 46, and she’s had five kids, and she has a half-sister that is my half-aunt
I don’t need to know anything about her to know that she was yielded a red card
It says 8 months
It grants her nothing but sleep, pain, and cruelty
Her name is Sandy, and she rejected the bone marrow transplant
And the leukemia in her body is as awake as ever
Unfurling into an awful sight
Violently taking everything away from her including that life
Pale skin, thin and clinging onto the retreating person within, sunken purple eyes that seldom open
Everything about this woman is rotting
This woman who might as well be you
Yet crowds of people are rolling their eyes back and reaching their fingers up into the sky
Reverberating voices in union praising this beautiful life
Light shining down upon them
Is surely from the heavens, because how can it not be?
How can there not be a creator
And say there is
We must all be loved, praise the Lord, and God Almighty!
Jesus will save us all!
The callous in the equation
Who in a stiff bed is surrounded by people holding down a job, taking her vitals and sketching them down to be put into a database where she will be one of hundreds
And who are fluffing her pillow after they check her name on the door
And handing out red cards
Yet we sing
Rejoice! Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding
Do not question this shriveling, withering, desiccating body
Society will not make eye contact with death
And Sandy will die
Be buried in the ground
But, with hope,
Live on in these words.