Listening to John Coltrane’s A Love Supreme while getting an MRI for cancer screening
There’s no pummeling rain but I can feel it beat
against the machine; when I was a boy, thunder
storms were magical,
a whip-crack of words would break the spell in two.
Then quiet; a thick and heavy fear that immobilized
everyone and everything.
It’s the end of summer already but there will be no
planning for next spring; only the promise of a long
and at least 135 days worth of sterile suns followed
by ambiguous moons. We’ve loved temporary
like Achilles; short, sharp,
an ecstasy of reason. We’ve loved truly, madly,
and deeper than the wine dark sea; we’ve gone
our separate ways and back again.
Love is the bite of an apple, a flash of blue
sky punctuated by a murmuration of starlings,
it’s the final breath on a sliver of glass.
The rain that isn’t rain stops, the rumble
of thunder from the MRI drowns out Coltrane’s
Psalm; I close my eyes and wait for silence.
by Alex Stolis
Editor’s Note: This poem’s allusions and imagery form an emotionally descriptive narrative of a life well-lived in the midst of uncertainty.