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July 2017, vol 13 no 2

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Peter Jastermsky

Last Thought

Quietly, she approaches me, which is how I remember she did everything. She answers my inquiry, saying, "I have cancer." This woman was my first girlfriend, in that mortifying junior high school way.

"You have cancer? What are doing about the cancer?" I am afraid to ask and afraid to know. "I’m praying," she says, "I’m really praying."

afternoon sun
the morning’s bright hope
in shadow

I hear the word 'cancer' and I think about my mother, her sister, her brother…. Here we are, this woman and I, in our late twenties, and, not knowing what to say. . . . Her unlined face, now dying.

gracing the wind
this last thought
of you