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My Sickness

Rachel Joachimi

I’m in his sterile palace built of paper cups
filled with too sweet apple juice and a linoleum
bathroom where everything is too white, most
of all his face and hands when he grips
the remote to his personal roll-in TV.
The potions and pills on his bedside table
make his saliva turn cement and steals
my mother’s voice from her sobs.
I want to try this concoction, his greedy
expensive spell that makes people care.
Sunken face and yellow eyes evoke the
hot coals of envy in my throat. Where
his flesh ends and machine begins blur, I wonder
if he is more metal or human. He is broken and
I’m whole, but it feels like I’m the one fading.
We didn’t go to Disney for my ninth birthday
although my mom promised. I place the blame
so heavily on his chest that it makes him cough,
and when he presses a “Call Nurse” button the world
stops and holds its breath for him.
I am left to wonder how he got all the luck.