I Dreamed of a Woman

I Dreamed of a Woman
C.S. MacCath

I dreamed of a woman;
curved like an upright bass,
hair a fall of dark water over marble,
calm as a loon on the lake at daybreak.

She passed through my bedroom at 5AM
on her way to chemotherapy;
clumps of black cancer clustered in her gut,
plain as tar to my dreaming eyes.

We talked of miracles, magic, mind over matter.
But death is death, so when she lay down in my arms,
resigned to fleeting strength, ephemeral joy,
I choked on a thousand words of love she would never hear,

and woke to the world’s carcinogenic grip on the bodies of women,
certain that we are all her; on the way to a cure that also kills,
early in the morning, before we are needed,
uncertain of love, clinging to joy, praying for miracles.

Ceallaigh S. MacCath-Moran (C.S. MacCath) is a PhD candidate in Folklore at Memorial University of Newfoundland and a writer of fiction, non-fiction and poetry whose work has been shortlisted for the Washington Science Fiction Association Small Press Award, nominated for the Pushcart Prize, and nominated for the Rhysling Award. She lives in Atlantic Canada, and you can find her online at www.csmaccath.com.