Kay Kassirer – “Legal Assisted Death” after Londzo Drury @WANPOETRY (WOWPS CYPHER 2018)

Kay Kassirer – “Legal Assisted Death” after Londzo Drury @WANPOETRY (WOWPS CYPHER 2018)


– After Londzo Drury, when people ask me what
kind of cancer my mother had I know they’re talking about anatomy. Want to know which organ
to blame for this tragedy as if cancer does not attack
everything at all at once. My mother once told me, it’s rarely the cancer
that kills but often a complication, still I say breast. My mother, she had breast cancer. But realistically, her breasts were among
the least of her worries. Outside of my poetry, I
do not have the energy to explain how cancer
made war with every part of my mothers’ body, especially her brain. There may not have been
tumors there but that is where the pain lives. When people ask me what
kind of cancer my mother had I do not say the kind that
makes you want to kill yourself. How it attacked her like a
playground bully, relentlessly. Making her hate parts of
herself she used to love. I do not say it was everywhere. Especially hovering in
still, sanitized air. I wanna talk about the poison injected in to my mothers’ veins
until she faded away. How the doctors insisted on calling it legal assisted death. The way they tip-toed
around the word suicide like my mother didn’t try
to bleed the cancer out into her bathtub one night. Like suicide is a word reserved
only for those who actually do the killing. When people ask me what
kind of cancer my mother had I do not say suicide. Even though they are really
asking me what killed her. They are more concerned with knowing how to pretend to mourn. Which bumper sticker they’re gonna put on the back of their car, which fight they get to
claim to be an ally in. When people ask me what
kind of cancer my mother had I do not say the kind
that simultaneously rips a family apart and puts it back together. The kind that has my mother and father in a car together for the
first time in over a decade. The kind that has strangers, relatives coming out of the shadows all around me saying they loved her
when I never met them. So, instead of asking where they were during the court dates and hospital stays, during those long months
my mother spent trying so hard to die. I asked them how. How did my mother die
and when they say cancer, your mother, she died of breast cancer. That is how I know they were not there. (applause and cheering)

4 thoughts to “Kay Kassirer – “Legal Assisted Death” after Londzo Drury @WANPOETRY (WOWPS CYPHER 2018)”

  1. Maybe they ask you what kind of cancer because they care about you and are concerned and trying to help. I hate this self loathing pity me bullsh*t.

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