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This is not the fireworks show.
This is the fifth cycle:
The repetition of the repetitive.
Poison then antidote.
A siege of IV fluids.

This is not the exploding sun.
This is the therapeutic crypt,
A world removed from the realms of
Surfing dandelions, croissant cafes,
Lipstick kisses and pipebomb hysterias.

This is oncology, the world of:
Relaxed, friendly,
Make yourself at home.
No alarm cries of dementia,
No rabid chimpanzees of panic,
No napalm in the marzipan.
Chemotherapy is not a Christmas stocking
Stacked with ink spray surprises
But a stack of wet bus tickets,

Cancer is not opera.
It is stuffed pillows,
Constipated clocks,
Blancmange without land mines.

In the domain of needles
Broccoli is reliably green
And I am a reclining spine
Gnawed at by zeroes
From now until the ricebubble morning.

This poem CHEMOTHERAPY was first published when posted online by Hugh Cook on 2005 April 15 Friday. Copyright © 2005 Hugh Cook.

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