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People say that you are your own worst enemy
and in my case that is literally true
because I had cancer at the age of two
and no one really knows what causes cancer
but they do know that it lives in you.
So I'm twenty-two years old and I have osteoporosis.
And it's all because of the drugs that they had to give me
in order to keep me from dying from cancer
at the age of two.
Every two years my body betrays me in a new way.
Yet, I still have to live with it
because our divorce is not yet finalized
and I really want to keep the house.
People say that beauty is not skin deep
but I cannot stand to look at myself
and that is without even imagining what's going on inside.
Sometimes all I do is cry
because of really irrational things
and the doctors tell me this is because I have a thing called depression
and this thing called depression has been with me since I was fourteen
and that's because at 14 I first thought about killing myself
because no fourteen year old
should have to tell himself that he didn’t end his parent’s marriage
and that's because nobody’s parents should divorce two years after their child gets off of treatment for cancer
because the child will try to tell himself that it was the cancer,
will try to comfort himself,
but a person can only lie for so long.
When I look into the mirror,
I stare at the scars of cancer.
When I hear myself babble on and on to my therapist,
I listen to the scars of cancer.
When I try to get out of bed in the morning
and it takes me a little longer because of the osteoporosis in my spine,
I feel all the scars of cancer.
And when I taste a kiss from someone else’s lips
and know that this means I am alive,
I taste the scars of cancer.
And when my father calls his new wife “beautiful”
I hear the scars of cancer
(Even though it’s been ten years).
When I try to love someone
and end up running away
because I remember how much I thought my parents loved each other
and I see what that did to their kids
and I don’t want to do that to my kids.
And I don’t even want to have kids sometimes
because I know that with some cancers the father carries the genes
and I would be the father
and the kid would have my genes
and the kid may not be able to get out of bed as fast in the morning at twenty-two
because that kid may have osteoporosis
and that kid may have had cancer
and even though it may have survived the cancer
it might still be dealing with the scars
and who would want to do that to a kid?
Then I remember that my body is Judas Iscariot
and that my spirit is not as resilient as Jesus’ spirit
and even if it was he had to die in order to overcome Judas’ kiss
and maybe I don’t want to die
because I’m scared of death.
Because a friend of mine who was perfectly fine one day
dropped dead four years later
because sometimes cancer gets in your brain
and sometimes people don’t know this until you get into a car accident
and sometimes even if you get lucky as hell to get hit by a drunk driver
so that the doctors discover that you have cancer in your brain,
you still die from it.
And that seems really unfair.
So maybe I am afraid of death
and maybe I have a right to be.
But, sometimes, the nights are lonely when all you have to share them with are scars.


from Strange Things (demo), released April 11, 2014



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Pat and His Whiny Bullshit Gainesville, Florida

I'm Pat. I write poems. Currently a member of Signs of Life (a hip-hop theatre troupe in Gainesville).

Website header photograph credit: Phaedra Brady

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