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The noise like a clock ticking inside my head.
Liquids moving downwards
through the plastic tunnels into a combination of flesh and skin and bones and blood—
No longer a mother preaching wrong from right.
No longer singing Beyonce songs during long car rides.
Another tick-tock on the clock,
A second gone
and never to return.
They say every moment you spend unhappy
is moment you’ll never get back.
But what about the seconds you spend
Crying over a bad haircut when you were eight
or arguing with your daughter about how to spell “marshmallow”
or maybe its “marshmellow.”
And because you thought wrong
She fails her spelling pre-test in first grade.
And thus you both will remember how to spell “marshmallow.”
You never get those back either.
I am no longer any of these things—
No mother, no sister, no friend, no daughter, no wife.
Only a carrying device for platelets, cells,
and most recently a poison that in the end, is exactly that.
My locks of stubble
prick my hands as if they were thorns on a stem.
The baldness a marking of my illness
My last seconds on the clock are counting down
like the timer on a microwave.
Ding! I’m done.