Unity, They Say

They say they votedfor all women,and I wonderif they did their homework because Amy Coney Barrett because 2 women who won locallywrote anti-trans billsmaking national headlines. They keep calling forUnity. They keep asking meto take my oppressors’ hands.Every electionthey hurry the cameras pastthose marching for justiceand take pictures of themselvessqueezing another chair inat their table,aContinue reading “Unity, They Say”

Cancerversary

This month marks one year since a doctor discovered my cancer, so I guess it’s fitting that the post-treatment wait-and-see is a return to that in-between void that was November 2019 to March 2020: an infinite space of no-answers-only-questions and we-can’t-be-sures where all I needed to know was what type of cancer it was, whatContinue reading “Cancerversary”

Waiting

* for my time to turn crimson, to curl in on itself and drop or else grow plump and green and turn back toward the sun for remission or recurrence or RIP for casual conversations, uncovered a hug from mom and dad or a friend or even a kind nurse for infection or a vaccineContinue reading “Waiting”

Radiation

Radiotherapy is done. One more mile marker in the rearview. One more thing to recover from. Though chemo was easier than I expected, radiation was harder than I expected. Both my medical and radiation oncology teams have been great, and I felt like I was in good hands during both, so that wasn’t the reason.Continue reading “Radiation”

Milestones

“Damn the things we must survive to survive.” –Pat Parker to Audre Lorde in a letter dated January 4, 1988, from Sister Love: The Letters of Audre Lorde and Pat Parker 1974-1989 It’s mid-August, and I’m done with chemo. I feel like I have enough distance from my last cycle to look back on thatContinue reading “Milestones”

I Swear

For Hill Thinking about crown shyness in Muir Woods,just two small town aces–children of factory workers–clipped at the roots, reaching out,not desiring touch but community.Like the trees, reaching out,belonging, holding, sharingbut still autonomous.You take a picture of me peekingbetween two trunks.I take a picture of youlooking up at your crown of trees. Thinking about sharksContinue reading “I Swear”

The Big Cs

This week, my sister was asked to choose between her career and my safety. As I approach my sixth cycle of chemo, stressors like this coupled with exhaustion and bearing witness to the selfishness and ignorance of anti-maskers have made me prickly, chiseling my words into sharp edges. Right now, America, you need sharp words,Continue reading “The Big Cs”

My Cancer Playlist

The songs and music videos that help me through the worst of it: You Don’t Know by Katelyn Tarver Lost Boy by Ruth B. Golden by Ruth B. Sum of Our Parts by Mary Lambert Monochromatic by Mary Lambert Straight Outta Oz by Todrick Hall FORBIDDEN by Todrick Hall Falling by Harry Styles Oh MyContinue reading “My Cancer Playlist”

Black Lives Matter

As protests sparked by the murder of George Floyd continue across the country and world, as name after name gets added to the list of Black people murdered by police, as the number of lynchings increase and are dismissed by police as suicides, as police resign rather than hold each other and the system thatContinue reading “Black Lives Matter”

The Back and Forth

“With cancer, it is rarely a matter of either-or; there is seldom a choice between hope and despair. Patients face both simultaneously, or serially.”- Azra Raza, The First Cell How much can a heart take, figuratively but also literally? This is a question that has floated up to me through the fog over and overContinue reading “The Back and Forth”