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,

 is dying.

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!

Except Sandy

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.


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