4th Stage Metaphoric Breast Cancer

by Maureen Seaton

Maureen Seaton

Blah, blah, blah—metaphors.
—Jack Nicholson, The Bucket List

Cancer is the dark era inside a diamond, the intrusive reign of a bully,
specific and preposterous, a river called Snake. It tastes like fruitcake.

Those who would destroy cancer cannot get past its beauty. Light
bows around it, that absolute desolate, that brilliant lack of conscience.

My doctor’s name is Diamond, the opposite of cancer, though both
diamonds and cancer grow within a matrix: conflicting mythologies.

It takes the earth one to three billion years to grow a single diamond,
a metastable allotrope of carbon; while cancer grows out of nowhere,

a metastatic deconstructed trope of war, as in: They lost their battle with.
It’s quite possible my doctor has never been in a poem before.

Or, if she has, it was more likely an epithalamium (for her wedding)
or an ode (to her genius), not a threnody (wailing song). They say there’s

logic behind the existence of cancer, but I try not to think about it,
especially as it relates to metaphor, therefore poetry, therefore me.

If I could talk to cancer as it tokes its smoky residue up my spine,
hijacking life, I’d say: Here’s your bus pass, here’s the key to my car.

I predict I’ll be sliced from head to hip one day to find a big open field
with Ferris wheel, carousel, and Steeplechase: Coney Cancer Island.

I am its host and dearest friend. And it is powerfully quiet inside me.
Time bomb, pied-à-terre, heart speaking soundlessly to its beloved.

Last updated September 27, 2022