It’s whether you win or lose

The excised organ contained the growth. No spread.

Relief snags his breath and in that hiccup of time

he fears the rise of tears not shed since boyhood.

He thanks a deity retrieved after Diagnosis Day.

She stares across the desk at the surgeon

and emotion, long held in, escapes her too.

Before, affection was assumed, the two arrived

and left as one but worked the crowd alone.

Heedless now of peopled space, in months to come

she’ll reach to touch his arm, his cheek, his lips,

mid-sentence, mid-thought, turn back and search

his face, calling for the replay that will reassure.

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