I discovered this small knot
beneath my collarbone—
a gritty slippery knob, a bird’s nest,
twisted through strata of tissue
girdling bone, surrounded by vessels—
arterioles, capillaries, lymphatics.
She rolled it under cold fingers
over and over, kneading
searching, murmuring a professional hmm,
asking, isn’t it just like this lump
here? guiding my hand with hers
crossing the sacred sagittal line
to finger another node, smaller, but similar
in texture, and what law does it violate,
allowing a reassurance
that cancer does not cross its trope.
I thought: hurricane
knowing I will die of something someday.
In a hurricane, you inch towards center
where you reach through terror
grasp nothing but this empty cup.