Flying Home

Where are the women of these men
Whose voices rattle with easy insults,
hands that flutter like ghosts

The women are waiting patiently
will always wait on men
who cough long and quietly
leaving clots of rose-bud clarity
on hospital handkerchiefs…

And I am flying home to you
hoping that marriage
is a cure for my illness

Shall I have another cigarette?
Yes?
No?
It doesn’t matter
This modern cancer creeps on regardless.

Aug 1980

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