According to the internet, I have all the symptoms
of leukemia. When I tell my husband this,
he is appropriately concerned. He reads over my shoulder,
Bone pain. Fever. Fatigue. Weakness.
I feel worse just watching him read it,
so I stand and go to the window
where the cat sits watching yellow and orange wasps
buzzing against invisibility,
and behind that, a field of horses too young to ride,
their wolf teeth intact, their knees not yet closed.
At odd times, I remember how the doctors
thought I had brain cancer when I was thirteen.
All the scans they did.
My thumbprint is on the glass at eye level
where I tried to smash one of the gnats
that make their way into our house every spring.
It swirls perfectly now over a hazy smear of clouds.
Should you go to the doctor? my husband asks,
but I have already told him about how my doctor
listens to my symptoms with his head to one side, like a robin’s,
then prescribes anti-depressants, no matter what I have told him
about where it hurts.
Get a new doctor, he says. It sounds easy
when someone puts it like that.
Outside the window, a spider is walking,
twitching its many green eyes.
When I move my finger underneath it, it jumps.
A reflexologist once told me
that you carry all of your mother’s grief
in the arch of your foot.
I took off my shoes and lay back.
I worried about whether my feet were nice enough
for him to want to touch.
He could tell me in such technical terms the reasons
for the urge to sob when he pressed my sole
with his thumb— the connection between the infant
and the walls of its mother,
the shared cells transferring everything.
All I really wanted to know, what I couldn’t ask,
was how such sadness could bear so much weight.