Afternoon I Escaped For A Big Mac

“Scarce” by Diane

Look at all the bodies
on fire.
Bags of poison open and I fall

to my knees. I have unhooked
my chemo machine to run-

Still, I can only go so far.
I am here. I am sorry. My fear
holds no grace.

There is an oncology nurse
chasing me down the hall.
There is a morning rush of cars

ignoring the beauty of this day.
Oh, what I wouldn’t give
to change places.

How can they not see what I see?
Spring is here
and a flood of morphine

sludges through my veins. I am
inconsolably happy.
It is not easy

to wheel an IV machine
through a parking lot,
over uneven sidewalks, and across

a busy street. What strange stares.
The crosswalk says walk
and I do,

my hospital gown fanning out
like a sail. For weeks I have stared
at those golden arches

from my hospital window.
What a torture to live beneath
something so tall and cruel.

How can anyone not understand
why I cried with joy
at that first bite,

alone in my booth. Knowing,
what goes down will not stay
down. Of course

there was pity
in the eyes of the cashier. Outside,
all the clouds have leapt

from the sky,
watery bodies reduced to puddles
on the pavement. All

I want is more of everything.
Is that too much to ask?
Each morning I wake

to this new life. And
despite how many times I’ve killed
my hunger, each morning
it rises up to meet me.

By Kristene Kaye Brown