No More Me


  • Futility

    No More Me


    To V,

    who was once my sweet lover and my loving wife


    I wonder, V, if you are unlisted.  Recently, I checked the phone book for you.
    I did not see your name--partly my name, since you kept my last name after our divorce.
    Once an unbelievable time: when we suddenly were not married anymore.
    Our seven-year marriage had run its course.
    Somehow, even though I knew that both our loves were true,
    Our marriage had been invaded by a sort of self-destructive force;
    And not all of the love that I felt for you, so deep and true, could stop the closing door.


    Now, when I want to say my goodbye love to you, I learn that you are unlisted.
    Or perhaps you have become remarried.  That would explain it, too.
    Then finally my last name will have been stripped from you.
    If so, it will be impossible for me to contact you.  I really wanted to.
    After all these years, I really wanted to talk with you.
    Not that I was thinking about us getting back together, God knows.
    I cannot even dream about that now.  I cannot dream of much of anything.
    My heart aches for love.  But I just wanted to talk with you.  Maybe it’s just as well.
    If I had found you, and we had met to talk, how could I begin to tell
    The terrible things that have happened to me, all in just a little over four months.
    But, God, it would have been so good to hold you in my arms again!
    And for me to be able to tell you, that I finally could forgive you,
    For not letting our baby be born.  But then, how could I have told you this: That now,
    There will never be a baby that can come from me.
    You might then say: “Oh, so you got a vasectomy?”
    No, V; you of all people should know--I never wanted a vasectomy.
    And, certainly, I never wanted what has instead happened to me.


    As the years have gone by, my health was good, my mind was good, my life was good.
    For both growth and change, I have had multiple curves, with most of them slow.
    My mind has continued to grow exponentially; physically, I was still on the go.
    I was proud that I could compete well with men who were younger.
    Compared with some even twenty-year old men I knew, I was healthier and stronger.
    Then, one day, I had a little trouble with—well—urinating.
    I went to see a doctor, in good cheer.  I expected a minor problem to be solved quickly.
    Four months and a few days later, my heart and soul and body are scarred and sickly;
    All three of these, and my life itself, have rapidly, precipitously declined.
    All I have left is my good mind.
    But my mind soon must die, and go deaf and blind.
    The decades of life I had left to live, have been radically reduced to frightening brevity.
    I never suspected a little problem peeing could mean that a dreadful death was waiting.


    There is a word that I don’t want to say to you, V; but it has to be said.
    I may not get to talk to you; but perhaps, someday, these words to you will be read.
    Perhaps someday, someone will find you, and give these words to you.
    But there is that one word I wish to God was not a word for me to have to tell you.
    You can be sure of that, V—yes.  In fact: You bet your life!
    So, as Groucho Marx would say: What’s the secret word?
    The duck drops down, and in its bill, the placard spells it out: cancer.
    It is a dead duck.  And the dead duck is me.


    Yes, I have cancer.  Surprise, isn’t it?  After all the vitamins and antioxidants,
    After all the minerals, and after taking so many life-promising supplements.
    Well, what can I say?  Actually, it was a doctor, a urologist, who planted death in me,
    Just like that good old movie D.O. A.—only much slower and more tormenting.
    He did not warn me the treatment he prescribed was known to cause cancer.
    He did not warn me that I needed to be carefully monitored, and checked.
    He did not ask the check-list of symptoms I should show, before risking being wrecked.
    To be mortally maimed--lonely for lost love--longing for my genetically endowed long life--
    Futilely lamenting.
    Five years ago, a urologist found my testosterone just a little bit low; and so--
    Though I was off just a few nanograms, and had no symptoms--
    He put me on testosterone replacement therapy.  Guess what?  Prostate cancer
    Can be caused, and can be made to grow real fast, by higher levels of testosterone.
    It turns out that high testosterone can be like a high wind blowing a spark into a blaze,
    Turning an occult cancer, too tiny to detect, into a man-killer.  This time, the man is me.
    In grief and sorrow, I suffer each day and fear tomorrow, with a sad low number of days.


    I bet you would have been even more surprised to know that I love you so;
    That I still love you, after so many years;
    After all the tears that I shed for our baby, who is dead—
    Without first having had a life to be lovingly led—
    My baby, who grew in you to late term, but was never allowed to be born.
    I still grieve over what you did.  Would it have been a girl or a boy?
    Today, this day, my child would have been driving-age old.
    Perhaps, at the Cancer Center, my cell phone would ring, and a beloved voice say:
    “Hey Dad, are you ready to go?  Would you like me to come pick you up?”
    I’ll never hear that voice—nor, now, ever hear any such voice:
    My cancer attacked me below the belt.  My treatments have made me forever infertile..
    My hope to have a child some day--a lifelong, deeply felt hope of my heart--is gone.
    Gone--with other hopes and dreams--just as all of my life shall, too soon, be--
    Gone before my genetic turn to go--that hope of having children has fully faded.
    But I still love you, V.  And now I’m missing you, missing you, missing you so.


    My cancer scares me, V; it scares me terribly; so terribly much.
    But I remember how happy we were, so long ago—
    I remember how I could feel your deep love for me in your smallest touch.
    As I know, you could feel, from my gentlest caress of your face, my great love for you.
    I wish you had been listed.  We could have met.  I could have held your hand.
    I would have told you that the ghost of my dead baby no longer haunts me as badly.
    That I had forgiven you at last--though the grief will stay, and go to the grave with me.
    Now I have lost it all, everything.  Even the hope of seeing you at least one last time.
    But there is nothing I can do about this terrible, great evil.
    I just have to suffer it.  Suffering is now my middle name.
    Strangely, though--all this pain makes me recall so gratefully all the blessings of my life;
    My life, which now shall soon prove to be hevel.
    Hevel—Hebrew, for early morning mist in the Middle East, soon burned off by the sun;
    The word translated in the King James Bible, in Ecclesiastes, as vanity.
    “Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher: all is vanity.”  Mister, you sure got that right.


    I know you would have been glad to see me, V.
    Just as you always wrote at the end of all your love letters to me:


    “Hope our love lives, and never dies.”

    Or, as my Beatles sang so long ago, and always sing in the ears of my heart and soul:
    “Each one believing that love never dies--
    Watching her eyes--
    And hoping I’m always there.”
    But I’m not going to be always there.


    Now, over the years, we both have had other lovers since our divorce—
    As I know, because we stayed in touch for a long time.
    We were both good people, kind and compassionate.
    And we were both hot-blooded, deep with desire, and passionate.
    Unless you are remarried, or have a current lover:
    I know you would have wanted to make love.
    Of course, you would have come up with a reason.  I can hear you now:
    “Let’s do it, for old times’ sake.”  That would have sounded good to me—
    Except, well—then I would have had to tell you the rest of this bad joke--
    The big bad joke that the universe has played on me.  Because, you see,
    My cancer treatments involve taking almost all my testosterone out of me.
    If we had gotten together, I would have had the shame and sorrow to have to tell you:
    My lovely V, my beautiful V—I cannot give erotic loving anymore.
    My body has been invaded by a sort of self-destructive force.
    We might have made up, and forgotten our divorce.
    But my cancer will not let me forget that it is there.
    I love your pretty face, and I love your flow of hair.
    But, instead of the power to express my passion, all I have is sorrow, fear, and despair.
    As Turgenev said--in Smoke--my life will soon dissipate and disappear--like smoke.
    V, I love you.  But my power of love's loving passion is no more.
    Just as—so soon—there will be,
    No more me.


    Written by Michael LP, aka MLP
    aka PoetWithCancer, aka PWC, aka Mr. Poet
    Written on Thursday, April 30, 2009  8:02 am
    Temperature: 640 F.  Winds 4 MPH
    Copyright © 2010 by Michael L.P.  All rights reserved

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    abuelita1 commented on No More Me


    Michael, I hope that some day she will read these words and know. Know of the forgiveness you have in your heart and the love you still have for her. These words have given me a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes for both of you. A beautiful, heart-felt write for somebody that you truly loved, and still do. I do hope you find her and can speak to her. My prayers and thoughts are with you both. Who knows, maybe this will be the miracle that I have had in my heart for you. You never know..... Love...Tiny Dancer.........aka Super A

    In science one tries to tell people, in such a way as to be understood by everyone, something that no one ever knew before. But in poetry, it's the exact opposite.

    Franz Kafka (1883-1924) Czech writer.

    PoetWithCancer’s Poems (224)

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