Richard W. Reith


Do you believe in alternate worlds,
in other dimensions?
I do.
I’m there.

I am a phantom
lumbering around unseen
observing others,
yet not a part of their world,
and they, not a part of mine

I was in their world once.
I think I remember.
Soccer games
going to work
not worrying about tomorrow:
All surreal now
so surreal.

Transported to a universe
of people dressed in white
of machines
and a million needles piercing me
the needles seem to never stop.

Days filled with medications
hour after hour.
Do I take this one now?
God, I forget what I took.

Transported to a world of days without sleep
and days without waking;
A world of misery;
A world where you permit them
to fill you with poisons
then ask them to do it again.

Everything that was important before,
God, how I ache to go to the mall
like these people walking around me,
to worry about next summer’s vacation
as though next summer is assured.

I yearn to be free
I long to be normal
But there is nothing normal
in the world of cancer.