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Cancer is What Kills Us [Poetry]

by Jacqueline Markowski

  • when nothing else does, bastardizing
  • its defining characteristic: renegade cells
  • refuse to lie down and die. We almost have
  • it figured out, this crazy, sticky, stubborn
  • universe. We have created
  • enough science to compare and contrast
  • all things to physics: symphonies,
  • time machines, free falling
  • from the edge of immediacy
  • (and surviving!) From the seam
  • we are the center, all things move
  • away from us. We sew words
  • into ideas, ideas into
  • parachutes. Our unceasing need
  • to characterize transforms us.
  • We are robots. Cancer is what kills
  • robots when nothing else does.




Jacqueline Markowski’s work has most recently appeared in San Pedro River ReviewBird’s Thumb, The Doctor TJ Eckleburg Review, Rust+Moth, Red Paint Hill Quarterly, S/tick, Emerge Literary Journal, The Knicknackery and is forthcoming in Up the Staircase Quarterly and Turtle Island Quarterly. Nominated twice for the Pushcart, she won first place at The Sandhills Writer’s Conference, was a semi-finalist for the 2014 Auburn Witness Poetry Prize and a finalist for Sundog Lit’s 2015 contest series. She is currently working on a collection of poetry. You can see more of her work at www.jacquelinemarkowski.com.



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