The Man Upon The Table

My thoughts return at times like these
To the man upon the table
The person who I used to be
Before the one who now is me
I wonder at his screams
His violent protestations
As the doctors prepared him for what was, in retrospect
An urgent emotionalectomy
Why couldn’t he see the dangers of his condition?
Even, in that very moment, the suffering that these tumors
(Fear, anger, sadness, love)
Were inflicting upon him?
Didn’t he see how much happier he would be once they were gone?
No, not happier…that’s a poor choice of words
The happiness and joy, those had to go as well, of course
As we now understand these to be symptoms of the underlying disease
The mechanism through which the whole remains undetected and untreated
Like the dangerously rewarding surge of endorphins
Accompanying the abandonment of chemo
So not happier
But couldn’t he see how much less unhappy he would be?
He used to suffer so many agonies
Fear of a future he could not control
Anger at injustices he could not correct
Sadness at tragedies he could not prevent
In all its forms
Because when has love ever been without pain?
And there were the smaller discomforts as well
Embarrassment caused from slights meant with no ill-will
Regret over choices that would have ended poorly in either direction
Anxiety about ludicrous imaginings that would never come to pass
Disappointment in his attempts to give voice to these miserable emotions
I do not think he would have liked this poem
Or, more to the point, he would have disliked this poem
Because of course, I do not like this poem
But I do not dislike it either
It simply is
And it is fine
That’s all anything ever needs to be now
Everything is fine
Everything is fine
Everything is fine
Everything is fine

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