Photo by Alice Donaldson
©Alice Donaldson

It is a fall day so perfect that it could break our hearts
because it makes us want to live forever,

and there are too many white cells in your blood.

Entering the treatment room, what I see first 
through the windows, is the Hudson,
annointed by November sun,

and a string of tugs and barges coursing North,
carrying what they need to carry.

And for you, a bottle of liquid that looks like water
but is not, flowing into your veins and blood vessels,
which are carrying cells they should not carry.

Outside the hospital, vendors are selling hot dogs,
neckties, long pastel beads.  Once, we lived in rooms 
around the corner, five flights up, 
though we had all but forgotten these streets.

Now I would go back with you
to climb the stairs again,
and live those days more carefully,

but we are careful now,
stopping to find you just the right necktie,
to find me the right color beads.  

Gail Golden

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