“Maui” by Cameron Morse

We go grocery shopping with a pregnant 

woman who does and does not want 

the Hawaii rolls, a woman who drops 

the cockroach in a salsa jar full of bleach,  

who washes her hair in volcanic ash. 

She says I killed her interest in mixed nuts 

by packing too many in the lunch bag. 

Says I’ll never pass my driver’s test. 

I don’t talk enough, no, I never talk 

enough. At first, when I tell her 

that the roach is disappearing, she cannot 

believe it. Yet every time I go to pee, 

I look in on the thinning sliver of its body.

Cameron Morse was diagnosed with a glioblastoma in 2014. With a 14.6 month life expectancy, he entered the Creative Writing Program at the University of Missouri–Kansas City and, in 2018, graduated with an M.F.A. His poems have been published in numerous magazines, including New Letters, Bridge Eight, Portland Review and South Dakota Review. His first poetry collection, Fall Risk, won Glass Lyre Press’s 2018 Best Book Award. His three subsequent collections are Father Me Again (Spartan Press, 2018), Coming Home with Cancer (Blue Lyra Press, 2019), and Terminal Destination (Spartan Press, 2019). He lives with his pregnant wife Lili and son Theodore in Blue Springs, Missouri, where he manages Inklings’ FOURTH FRIDAYS READING SERIES with Eve Brackenbury and serves as poetry editor for Harbor Review.  For more information, check out his Facebook page or website.

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