Death settles on the exam table
as the oncologist bids good-day,
flutters anthracite feathers,
eyes us, then with a nod
swings his new partner away.

Wrapped in his grim wingspan
gyring down the shadow path,
she pries at the talons
that clamp her fast,
with chemicals, diet, all she can muster
to loosen them for a measure,
though nothing can ever dissever
this pair from their round together.

I am a wallflower at the dance
watching a lady slowly die,
and as sigh treads on sigh
replay a sixty-year-old teen romance.