He is gaunt.The skin of his face has wrinkled
exponentially, the grooves carved deeper
than they were before.
He is gaunt but
somehow, she tells me that he has put on weight.
It feels like he is still dying,
he has given up
on staying here with us.
He is cancer-free.
The nurses at the chemo center
gave him a certificate and everything,
it must be official.
He is cancer-free but
somehow, it does not feel like a victory.
It feels like a reprieve instead,
the battle won
but the war already a lost cause.
He is brittle.
The points of his spine press into my hands
and his shoulder blades are sharp
when I embrace him.
He is brittle and
somehow, he is already broken.
It feels like a portent,
his legs like chickens’,
thin hollow spindles ready to splinter.