Stop Asking Me How I’m Doing by Bear Weaver

I cough up a cancer poem so y’all will shut up
about writing as healing. Like there’s anything
romantic about your body breaking your heart.
My surgeon sends me to an oncologist he calls a
snazzy dresser. He means gay. My gay oncologist
recommends cannabis and I ask if he knows any
strains that stop time. A trauma survivor advises
me to integrate this experience with my sense of
self. I think I don’t know what that means but just
now my self was a lizard tucked under a rock in a
screaming hot tank, occasionally scuttling out to
bask on a log and hope the lamp fries it. My guts
and I are hollow. They blew up the seed bank so
there goes the last of my schemes to resurrect my
grandmother. Also, I lost all my nose hairs. Did
you want me to include that in the weekly update?
My dad doesn’t know how to regulate around this.
Surprise. He’s always forty-one flushing pills fifty-
one begging yet again for absolution. He’s burnt
himself down to the bowels a thousand times and
yet. I stare at this poem for twenty minutes and
finally understand survivor’s guilt. But he won’t
do either of us any good dead. Also, I love him.
Thanks for the money, folks, and most days I want
you and everyone else to fuck off. How’s this for
meaning-making? Everything I’ve ever written is
a love poem and so is this needle. Amanda, all I’ve
got for you is this: My sense of self says the guts of
me will always be seventeen and too young to die.


Bear Weaver was built by Florida’s Gulf Coast, as were their parents, grandparents, great-grandparents, and great-great-grandparents. They are currently writing, residing, and cancer-surviving in southern New England, but can be found tweeting and lurking @WvrBear.

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