Coming Back from the Dead
by Rob Jacques

Cancer cut out of you, you now get up
reeling and reeking of combinations:
soured urine and meds, pungent sweat
and close, sick-room air. Your IV
dangles as a tube on a chrome stick
as you shuffle around your bed dizzy,
phlegm thick, gait unsteady, family
watching your wan progress worried.

But you inside of you know the score,
the climbing up, back out of death,
bits of a grave’s earth still clinging
to body parts you aren’t sure you’ll
use again anytime soon. You know
more of life now than you do death,
how it’s made, pleasure’s shadings
that run from an ecstasy of coffee
to a hilarity of watching a squirrel
outfox a neighbor to win birdseed.

Greatness no longer fascinates, nor
does fame hold a candle to pizza
with extra tomato sauce and olives.
Wealth exists no more in finance,
and love’s physical arousal is nice
but unessential to wedding oneself
to life. Thank God. You are given
a message to deliver to Nineveh:
All you have within you is enough
to laud, to learn, to experience,
to come to each day unconcerned.