1. The Age of Cancer

It was the age of having cancer.
Breast was popular, even among the young
whose beautiful boobs should have been spared,
and prostate among dismayed men whose urine
began to dribble uncontrollably and whose
penises ceased to rise to any occasion.
Someone might say, “I am not my cock,”
or “I am not my tits,” and then begin to weep.

Not sleeping is not the same thing as being awake.

David decides to read In Search of Lost Time
while undergoing chemotherapy.
Do you think that’s wise? And what does
“undergoing” mean? Sinking into,
passing through, denoting an unpleasant passage,

He can read anything he wants to read.
He can read The Changing Light at Sandover.
Why not both? Why not the fattest books, why not
the deepest, the most elusive,
like the mind and the body in their amplitude?

He can lie awake and watch the furniture
rearrange itself into something like his life.

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