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You saw me, and I loved you for that.

young adult cancer survivorship

//from Unspoken Ink Winter Session//

the pain of your exit
wells up inside me like
a hunger, a parasitic heaviness,
like the cancer that
opened my door to you.

You saw me,
not this body
wracked with pain
emaciated, person-less
my body decapitated from my soul;

You saw me.

In my darkest hour, crying, despondent
offering nothing,
Depression holding me
like a ravenous python.

You saw me.

In my fragile moments of levity
when you read Steinbeck aloud
our laughter running all the way
from our eyes down to our chins-
those precious moments
I felt alive again.
And then we’d sit silently
in just our own presence;
the world too full to talk about.

You saw me

in my year of isolation
and quarantine
from the world
in my year of isolation
and quarantine
from my Self
from joy, from any worldly contribution
You were there, you didn’t care
I was a shell of myself.

You saw me.
And I loved you for that.

I had never felt more loved
more beautiful
more wholly understood-

But something happened,
You left.

You just left.

It’s been three years
and it still
grows like a tumor in my stomach;
your absence weighing
more than I can carry some days.