Today is the second anniversary of my mom’s death from cancer. She fought it over the course of more than a decade using almost every weapon in the oncology arsenal.


It looked otherworldly,
or medieval, at least;
A mask to protect against
death-killing death.

Dozens of hours under the mask;
anxious contemplation and imagination
the only marks that distinguish dead
from alive [slow breaths to ward off

But in the end, the mask fails.
The body dies–
or does her last breath
emancipate her from the broken
clay-made mask,
mask sent to decay
and she to restoration?



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