The First Night

I was proactive.
I needed a doctor.
That was all that mattered to me.

I had cancer now and I needed a doctor.
It was all simple and logical
and I looked up my insurance online
and researched doctors
and called back my gynecologist

who hours ago
told me with his sad
patient voice

that it was cancer
that he was so sorry
and that I needed to find a surgeon.

On the train ride home
my husband and I
talked business.
We got pizza.

I did not feel distressed.
I had a problem.
My problem was cancer.
I needed a solution
My solution was a doctor.

When you have cancer you need a doctor.
It was simple and clean and clear.
That night, later
I swallowed down scotch
Because I was 37 and I had cancer
and climbed into bed
determined to have a doctor
by the next day.

Instead I woke
with a thing on my chest
a terror I have never known
like a bird that circled
all night
and waited till I was sleeping
to hook it’s claws
into the meat of me.

And I tried to sit up
shallow panicked breaths
gulping for air
like a dying thing
like a bloody shot
dying thing
begging the universe
Why me?
Why me?
Why me?
Fucking christ
Why me?

and the universe
with all the cold
of a million
burning stars
and a vast blanket
of nothingness,

the universe said
Why not?

By Ally Malinenko

I live in Brooklyn which is good except when it’s not which is horrid. I’ve been writing for awhile, and have some stuff published and some stuff not. I don’t like when people refer to pets as their children and I can’t resist a handful of cheez-its when offered. I have a burning desire to go to Antarctica, specifically to the South Pole so I can see where Robert Falcon Scott died. I like to read books. I like to write stories and poems. I even wrote some novels. You can read them.


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