It could be mother’s
milk and mating—nothing more,
the spoil
before the storm—

or else the father’s fall
from grinning—grasping
after rungs
where money’s climbing—

it could be brothers’ bite,
and every petty sibling turn—
or—damn!
it could be stupid rhymes—

but I’ve a bet it matters
neither way—that is to say
I’m cancer, son
I’ve never been so sure.

not fraying bones that cry
or winces when I die—
just death
the end, and through.

what now, love? you too?
oh heavens—grand!
it’s coming too!
let’s together make a stand!

i know i’ve said a spell
about my doom—and well
it’s different
with a double-knell—

what fun to die alone? you see
let’s live and show—and be!—
what comes
along that side of death!

you’ve another breath, I’m sure
i’ve seen it all—before
while dying
once or twice or more—

and if we fail at this, we two
well then, we die—and on
we do
together, what makes two mates

too.