Monday, June 12, 2017

Nose News is Good News

June 12

The doctor’s office
called today.
Suzie asked if June 29th
would work for my next
nose appointment,
7:30 am.
Skin cancer, basal cell,
the kind of cancer
you want to have if
you have to have skin cancer,
she said.
The least likely to spread,
the slowest growing,
the most likely to be cured,
cured in the sense that they
cut it away in roundish layers,
in this case,
like small potato chips,
until it’s gone.
They look at each slice
through a microscope
and once there are no
more abnormal cells,
those little bastards,
they stop.
“One millimeter, to start,” Suzie said.
I looked around for a
ruler with millimeter markings
to Americanize the thickness
of the slice. It’s about 1/25 an inch.
Ten sheets of paper.
What many of my students
hand in when I assign a
twelve page paper.
Maybe a fifth of the thickness
of a slice of American cheese
you get individually wrapped
and that tastes pretty good
when grilled in a grilled
cheese sandwich.
The "silly millimeter longer"
that Chesterfield cigarettes
used to advertise.
Suzie didn’t say what the
dimensions of the next layer
would be, nor did I ask.
Not because I didn’t want
to know – I just didn’t
think of it. If I smoked,
I'd have a cigarette.
Instead, I'll sip on my
Old Crow.


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