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86

He had the answer ready

to the question asked.


He slides out of the MRI machine.

Two women peer down, looking gravely concerned.

“How old are you?” they ask.

“86,” he says.


They pause.

He waits at the other end of the pause for grave news.

“Why do you look as young as you do?”


“My wife,” he says. No hesitation.


Now in the kitchen,

he takes her hand, still calls her kid.

She knows and treats him no differently.


They just want it to be as before,

before the cancer began eating him.



Published in the Winter 2020 issue of The Raw Art Review: A Journal of Storm and Urge

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