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[A cancer survivor's poem on living
for the moment, on seizing the day.]

CELEBRATION

There are scabs on the past,
Quicksand on the future.
The calendar is ulcerated.
Still,
There is a rough track forward.
Though I am closer to snow than to granite,
I have two kneecaps
And connected ankles.

My mirror cracked to fractured glass.
My geometry
Flawed open.
Eternal circles
Bulging then deflating.
The physical failure
Of my own less perfect flesh
Teaches me mortality.
I cannot be forever.
Still,
The hour is granted,
A wedge to open the future:
Let us celebrate the potential of the positive.

Let us celebrate
Ripeness.
Nectarines are not forever.
Conserving caution will not sustain
Bruised liquids until tomorrow.
So let us celebrate
The action of the teeth,
The kiss of capture,
The running juice
Of consummated claim and dissolution.

Let us celebrate the potential of the positive.
Let us be positive
But do
Without the fireworks,
Without the exclamation marks.
Do less.
Do ice cubes rather than bunker busters.
There is no need to stress a ten-cent opportunity
With a thousand dollars.

Cut your fingernails.
Rejoice in the necessity:
Length is life.
Kiss more often.
And do not flinch from passion.
Remember:
The wine is sufficient for the moment.

The body immaculate - the illusion -
Has fallen.
Unfallen self-perfection yields
To practical necessity.
So
Let us then celebrate what we have.

Chocolate is perfect.
A lush fragrance
Mired to the fingers,
Infinitely edible.
Let us celebrate
The eating of the chocolate.

Close your eyes
And let the engulfing sun
Melt the tensions of the swollen bones
Into the molten colossal:
The world
Globbed incandescent,
Eyeballs
Hotter than coffee,
Lungs
Radiantly saturated.

This poem CELEBRATION was first published when posted online by Hugh Cook on 2005 May 21 Saturday. Copyright © 2005 Hugh Cook.

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