“No longer if we’ll get cancer but when”

By Melanie Braverman Melanie Braverman
No longer if we’ll get cancer but when, the doctor said. Now questions accrete around the irritant like pearl: Not when but how? Not how but whom? And then why. And then why not. I take a can of ashes to the beach and empty them into the wind. Outside the trash man collects bottles like a miser rattling his jewels, tossing them onto the growing heap.

Source: Poetry (October 2011).


This poem originally appeared in the October 2011 issue of Poetry magazine

October 2011
 Melanie  Braverman


Melanie Braverman’s most recent book is Red (Perugia Press, 2002), winner of the Publishing Triangle Audre Lorde Poetry Award. The poems appearing here are from a book-length manuscript called “The World With Us in It.” She is a poet-in-residence at Brandeis University.

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SUBJECT Living, Death, Health & Illness, Time & Brevity

Poetic Terms Prose Poem

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Originally appeared in Poetry magazine.

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