The doctors gave him six months
six years ago. They called it
a fiendishly aggressive melanoma,
eating away at his face and jaw.
Each morning he packs the wound
with cotton, applies the flesh
toned bandage — Phantom of the Opera
mask. Malignant forces tug
at the corners of his eye, his mouth, his ear.
Morphine dulls the pain. He drinks
his meals, smokes the occasional
cigarette. An ex-Mormon,
he read the Bible for the first time
last year, found his namesake, the shepherd
boy, stone and sling, heir king to eternity.
No pestilence, Goliath of the modern
age, can abate the warmth, brilliance of sunlight;
the aroma of steeping coffee; or her night shirt
folded on the pillow. This is how it feels
to be alive. He is sorry for living dead
for so long; doesn’t regret the brute who reels
from the blows, staggers on, refusing to go down.
David knows the sad isolation of a bully.
He wrote the book, Despair of Materialism —
autobiography of a car salesman.
Oh, how the mighty have fallen, one by one.
Confession was good for Saul. Heaven
exists inside us all if we are willing
to walk through Hell. Would you thank
Cancer for knocking at your door?
Irony is not dead. Christ descended from David.
Consider the lilies, the ravens your soul, and ask,
Of how much more value are you than the birds?