Missing Paul on what would be his birthday.

Jeffery Bahr
And the doctor said that I was toxic,
Surveyed the veins on my wrists,
Mapped the places where passion
Got no purchase, and riders
On the bus caught a waft and stripped
To their undergarments, huddled
In the shadow of the opening door
And another said I had a few bones
Lost in Triggering Towns,
That I would elbow the pastor upon leaving
The wedding, that he would hardly notice,
Thanking me for my kind words from the first row
But I was not in attendance, I was watering
The lilies and it all happened around me
And the oncologist smelled my breath,
Feared for the worst, pancreatic,
Esophageal, some sort of brain thing,
I said, how long do I have, doc,
And he said as long as you can maintain
The illusion of normalcy, as long as you
Can dream of people and I fell
Into bed every night and conjured up
People whom I was chasing, then people
Who didn’t need capture, then an odd
Soul with a glow of her own, a sort of
Person with a purpose that was above judgment,
Then I woke up and saw a doctor
Who said I had a predilection for both
Certainty and chaos and I had to make up
My mind, and for the first time, I said, wait
A second, what’s wrong with that, and his bushy brows
Furrowed and the trains slid off
Their rails and he told his secretary to bring him
A corned beef sandwich, and he completely
Ignored me from that point on, me in the chair
Across from him, breathing the same toxic
Air, yet I remember falling recently
At the head of an escalator, and every tumble
Down was ameliorated with the prospects
Of upwardness, a trust in anti-gravity,
The long-standing machinery of forgiveness,
The sense that love was longer than life,
Even greater than God, who in my story
Derived from love, is what love is, sprung
From it and there is this world,
Which is a wonderful place, a terrible
Place, and it was time
To pay the bill.

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