Insulin Wife Reads WebMD

Statistically, I am doomed to outlive you.
Other wives twist their rings and plan

the years UNTIL, until, love, you drop
your chin in the La-Z-Boy, grayfaced

leaving a wet ring on the table and me
left with still a decade left to widow.

I’m so afraid to live alone but to be
guaranteed even less—how do I explain

my bitterness? Pre-existing. Maybe once
I took comfort knowing I would survive

whatever husband took me, but now I need
a stiff one to get through my browser

history. Read nephropathy, read retinopathy.
O, love, how selfish to think of myself

a blurry reflection in your eyes clouded
with cataracts to winter sky. I wipe rings

on the counter, imagine your one gray toe
swollen blister blue, seized and ripe for knife.

I, daughter to long-lived wives, stick a needle
in your arm, insulin, from Latin insula, an island

in some poor pig’s belly. Pancreas, sweet
bread, meaning flesh—it all comes back to that.

Flesh of my flesh, I’m quick to forget my body
and its history when faced with yours. Touch

me in my grief, where I am reassembled
from fingernails and honey and my mother’s

dark eye. Touch away our parting foretold in cold
screen. Read cardiomyopathy. Read your name

bubbling in the syringe. How could your life
be measured out just so? Touch me so I go first.