After you leave the hospital
the sky a disrespectful blaze of blue
white birds fly overhead
a shimmer
you can barely make out
snow geese? tundra swans?
their uneven V
illegible in the blue sky
like a signature you misread
at the doctor’s office


the rate of decay
my body
separate blood from tissue, tissue from organ, organ from bone
spread them out in radioactive traces
for doctors and scientists
I am falling apart my half-life less each minute
ticking away the minutes
I carry within me
the half-life of polonium, uranium, lead
traces in lungs, uterus, kidney
racing through the bloodstream tick tick
a little bomb
goes off inside me
rips me apart
system failure
breathing breeding bleeding
nothing but dust and a shell
and a ghost that says beware beware
the half life
my body
the rate of decay

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