March 19, 2014

Day Walker

I asked if
you binge watching
The Walking Dead
was a snippy
ironic gesture
during chemo.

Nah, it's 'cause
your cable sucks.

I asked if that was
snippy and ironic

You shook your head
readjusted a tube
then looked out the window.

To prove your lack of laziness
you dared/threatened/requested
a walk to the children's museum
and aquarium on the pier.

Weather's nice
and your mom got me
that knit cap
in Packer colors.

You hate the packers
and are lukewarm to my mom
but your gusto was convincing
so down through Juneau
past some frisbee players
we walked.

         turned gears
         molded play-do buildings
         cut out sandpaper shapes
         and wanted to pet the sting-rays.

Steve Irwin died this way.

Too much TV?

Not enough;
but he was asking for it

you pointed at the sting-ray
doing back flips
and side-swimming

that one's a showoff
he totally killed Steve.

You moved closer.

March 05, 2014

Mr. Fix-It

You called me that
when I told the tale of using
electrical tape and a thumbtack
to repair a doorknob
my landlord refused.

It sounded awkward
like all the times you called me

Mr. B______

which made me sound
like just a friend
or like my dad.

Getting older or friend-zoned
doesn’t bother me
just like
          according to your daily reminders
having a life eating disease
doesn’t bother you.

But I realized
          as I signed hospital bills
          and talked with an insurance company rep
          named “Steve”
that no one goes into a problem
wanting to embody fixing
or wanting to be categorized
as a fixer

but we do want to fix daily
annoyances and ongoing

You think duct tape
and a thumbtack
will help here?

you point to your
hairless skull
and its circular
scar, stapled.

At least you don’t
point to your heart

or some other part
like your deviated septum

I, or others,
are ill-equipped to repair

and you're obtuse
to having repaired.

March 01, 2014


On our third date
the one that lead to sex
you candidly shared

I fucking hate that I'm older
I like being a kid
it's not a shallow thing
I really like being a kid
and now I do all this adult stuff

I mean, I like some of the adult stuff

you elbowed me

but you get what I'm saying?

Day planners.
Taking the bus to work.
Trying to meet people online.

You winked at me.

I just want to age
like cheddar.

Despite your penchant
for all things vine related
and fermentation
you chose cheddar
over your other friends

pinot, riesling, moscato.

In the second phase of treatment
you scaled back make-up
and when the late afternoon
lake sun hit you through the window
you became older.

When I said like cheddar
you said

Cheese makes you fat.

Family HIstory

The first time
I meet your family
it's through words

sent not to my ears
but a nurse's

fresh out of school
her hand shaking
because the doctor
informed her about
your diagnosis;

I had a crazy aunt
who had breast implants
not sure why
but I know that when she hugged us
it was rock solid
and kinda hurt
but we were kids so we went with it;

my brother used to steal paperclips
from school
and make a huge chain
that he hung across his ceiling, no, wait, this is medically important...
he poked his eye out and had to wear a patch
after he tried hanging lego men
like members of a weird alien race;

you can ask me anything about my dad
but not my mom
I think there are some issues there
but we haven't talked in some time
and when we do
it's through my dad.

On our second date, weeks ago
you hinted that you wanted me
to meet your parents during the soup/salad
then shifted positions
during the dessert

I thought we were over then.

When the nurse pressed
about your mother
it was the first time
in weeks
you squeezed my hand.