Leisure-loving Man Suf­fers Un­timely Death

The Iowa Review - - NEWS -

You ask why the din­ner ta­ble has been so quiet. I’ve felt, for a month, like the ta­ble:

hold­ing strange things in my head when there are voices present.

And when the voices die, a cool cloth and some sparkling spray.

I’m on painkillers around the clock, and I fear it’s al­ways been

just the pain talk­ing to you.

The last vi­sion was of the pain leav­ing— it looked just like me as it came out

of my mouth, but it was hold­ing a spat­ula. It was me if I had learned to cook.

The pain drifted to the kitchen. He hitched him­self to the oven, was a cen­taur

com­pleted by bread, great black loaves burst­ing from the oven,

and then the vi­sion van­ished. I fol­lowed, and stood where he had stood.

The knives rus­tled in the block, the pans clacked over­head.

I’m ster­ile from chemo, and thought of that.

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