Summer chases me through nights trapped in Plath’s Bell Jar.
I hear the story ringing and tinging on the glass.
Summer nights scream to me “dream the moon.”
Like childhood tea parties, at the bottom of the pool, don’t stay down long.
For those of you who don’t know what summerteeth are.
It is when some teeth are here and some are not.
That is what I have now after living through chemo and brain radiation.
One of my eye teeth rotted from the inside out..but that summer,
Was Rock n roll all the way.
The insanity stabbing at my school, pushed me to
BE colored Rockets shooting out my independance. I
Jammed on bass with the 4:20 crew,
Played accordion with the marching band,
AND I got together for song writing with Nadiva.
To escape the ever gazing over off up to the left, tripping on
Ellipses of disbelief. I got some headaches, which I
ASSUMED were the results of the nighttime teeth grinding. I
ASSUMED I was mourning the incident,
Assumed PTSD because I HAD been Right there.
I am a good first responder, but
Mostly, I continued to increase my dose of summer, I joined a
Drum circle and returned to regular
Tuesday therapy sessions. I never faltered; but I
DID miss the Inner meaning of the headaches.
Exploding, yellow sunflower sunny seeds of summer sun.
It was Crazy, June, July, it was epic, concerts galore,
Clearwater, camping, Wilco, overnights in the van, crazier still living,…
Imagine mornings at the river’s edge, diving in.
Air of greenery filling lungs, drinking Sun.
Imagine death lying in wait at days end.
The bed waits for me, but I stay busy.
Here, I am gutting old bathroom tiles, rebuilding the sub floor,
Cutting and installing new tiles,
Blood flowing, down, down,
Steady on into my brain.
A two day bathroom job is five or six painful days.
Finally completed, I dive headfirst into a swim,
Lest I never move again.
That night, the jam with Nadiva
Left me searching for replacement words.
I couldn’t find THE word. My whopping
Vocabulary disguised my growing aphasia,
Until the following day, Dawn showed up, shocked to find me sleeping on her floor.
Shaking and waking me, found me speaking meaningless jibberish.
What is this? My Head had been down in workshop prayers,
Blood, my own blood, feeding an unusual lymphoma,
Fighting to burst free from its tight skull cell.
It is SO rare that initially even brain surgeons misperceived a
Glioma and foretold my imminent death.
They opened this skull like pulling the lid off that bell jar.
They nitpicked the slithering tumor from my brain,
Resealed the lid, and
Shipped me off to
SLOAN for a neurotoxic regimen of methotrexate, vincristine, procarbazine, followed by a
Finally frosted with high-dose cytarabine.
I crawled to my accordion.
Doctors advise don’t read the clinical studies, predicting your death in 2-5 years.
No summertooth will stop me now.
Winter is chattering:
Here’s the moon.
Here we are,
Storytellers in a bell jar,
Banging on the glass.
I will, I will.
Against the ropes, chewing with brittle teeth, stirring like maple sap in February.