University of Toronto
Class of 2019
I look at you, and I wish
there was some sort of incantation to whisper
that could string together all the fickle words
grazing around the summit of my throat
and instill a frenzy in their small limbs
so they may leap across the oceanic void
that is the silence between my mouth and you being healthy again.
But where did your illness come from?
My ear is on your chest as I wonder…
What if I asked people of the First Nations to teach me their chants
for a flood to wash away the gunpowder from your metastatic demons,
maybe you’ll get better then?
or what if I revisit my old textbooks
so I can learn about all the chemotherapies and erupt them into your veins,
Is that how this works?
What if I recycle more?
turn out the lights for longer?
stay vegetarian forever?
maybe I won’t have kids…
You don’t live here in the city so I imagine you often wonder when I’ll visit;
but, I’m here with you tonight
and I’m happy to see you still have so much of your beauty.
Yet I’m trembling because I can’t lift the hospital cover to take in
your swollen and necrosed legs,
all the dead parts of an oily soup
welling up in your eyes,
dashes of polyethylene and
spices that would make a Geiger counter sing
in harmony with the drone of machines,
– digging their nails into your head,
making you shake,
making you crumble –
all the music in the world couldn’t save you,
but I heard they spoke about you once
in Copenhagen, or was it Paris?
if only there existed such a spell to make it stop,
if only I knew the words