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The persistent suitor

Dave Margoshes
From:   Purity of Absence. Vancouver, B.C.: Beach Holme Publishing, 2001.


Three days into the treatment,
the chemical teeth gnawing
their way through her veins,
Yvonne passes a bad night,
wrestling with Death, who slips
not under her bed as the demons
she feared as a child liked to do
but into it, cozying right up
beside her, cuddling, hands all over her
breasts and backside, foul breath
singeing the tender flesh below her
earlobes, hardly a gentleman,
she thinks, remembering
the Emily Dickinson poem she read
in university, no, more like
the boys she'd fended off that same year,
all intellect and hands but more
of the latter, she and her roommate
would laugh, but, just the same, nothing
to be afraid of,
and not now, either, despite
that stinging breath, the clawing
hands, the persistent
fingers, no, the old defence
still works, the defence
of last resort her mother taught her,
a knee,
doubled up quickly, where it hurts
the most, even for Death, not so
proud now, not
so fearsome. But this is
just the fourth morning, days
before her hair turns white, before
her stomach turns itself inside
out, days before the first bouquet
of his roses arrives.


Dave Margoshes's works copyright © to the author.


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