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

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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)

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

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

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