what i don’t need

I don’t need your fears—of suffering, of dying, of the big C,
of me being gone and leaving you alone—
splattered on me like an uncovered sneeze.

I don’t need to feel the quicksand of your anxiety
sucking the ground from beneath my feet, or elbowing me aside
as you push the timing and agenda of your own pressing needs.

I don’t need to hear your circling drama
cycling and recycling in a slow-moving vortex of chaos
that sucks the juices of my good nature, leaving me
dry, depleted, and disoriented as a tumbleweed.

I don’t need to hear you sighing and scuffing,
small-minded, focused on your own discomfort.

I don’t need to hear your endless apologies
for stabbing through my vein, leaving me bruised
purple, green, turquoise, yellow.

I don’t need to carry any additional burdens, be they those of a
husband, friend, family member, doctor, nurse, technician.

What I need is for you to dig down deep into the wellspring
of your own reservoir, your own circle of support,
and if you don’t have one, you damn well
better get one soon because it can’t just be me.

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