IMMORTALITY II, or, The Cats, Like Faithful Cancers, Came to You in the Night

In my pink bed
in our shared room
I’d wake to spy them
lumped to your leg, your back
the cats like glamorous cancers
glommed onto your body.
Each night they came,
close nestling
those nodes, those coils
those neoplastic sleepers.
I’d wake again to find
the cats metastasized
to breast, to brain—
how I envied you
your companions
that special status.
Even now it wakes me
in the night sometimes, how
in our twin beds
in our shared room, the cats
the cancer
only came to you.

Kristen Miller is a poet and playwright living in Louisville, Kentucky. Her work has received recognition from the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival, The Humana Festival of New American Plays, Pushcart, The Robert Haiduke Prize, and the Sara-Jean McDowell Award. She is the director of programming and development at Sarabande Books.