top of page

"Cancer" by Robert Allen

We saw each other at the grocery store – then a few hours later, at the same cafe. Riding the bus home, there she was again. She sat next to me, smiling wildly. Her face was joy, and tired as the summer heat. She turned her head to me and said, “Hi I’m Josie. I want to take a walk with you and maybe make out in a park.” “Sounds great,” I said, “Let's go.”

It was as if we had known each other for a thousand years, walking down the street holding hands. Everything was easy. We talked as reunited lovers talk, of things past and forgotten, of intimacies and secrets.

In the park I lay on the ground, my head in her lap, like we had always done this. I looked up and gently pushed some stray blond hairs behind her ears. I had no idea about the malignancy beneath her ribs.

We knew each other for an afternoon. I might even call it love.

She died two months later in bed and I was broken all over for a while.

bottom of page