July/Aug 2020 • Vol. XLII No. 4 PoetryJuly 1, 2020 |

I Live I Live I Live

The night after the last infusion I dream of stealing an airplane, a single-engine, yellow Piper Cub, and I should tell you right now before I forget, it is a great boon to dream of stealing an airplane after chemotherapy. I follow the L&N tracks south toward Birmingham, a windy day, and after the square green fields of Limestone County, as I’m dreaming through the blue mists of the Sand Mountain Plateau it occurs to me I’ve never actually landed. But what a rush to sit on air overlooking the Mulberry River. I am in the sweet spot, the part of earth most directly situated beneath heaven. I adore the smell of grease! And then morning, I’m sitting in my red pajamas, eating pancakes with strawberries. I am better than I was on Friday, and the next day, Sunday, no fever, I am back! I feel like orange juice and toast. When the phone rings, perhaps it’s the bendamustine that makes me greet you, “Hurry, darling. Come. The air smells like grape leaves. Pack your snoods.

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Rodney Jones teaches in the Warren Wilson Low Residency MFA Program and is a member of the Fellowship of Southern Writers. His honors include the National Book Critics Circle Award, the Kingsley Tufts Award, and the Harper Lee Award. His new book, Village Prodigies, which combines techniques of fiction and poetry, will be published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in the spring of 2017.

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The night after the last infusion I dream of stealing an airplane, a single-engine, yellow Piper Cub, and I should tell you right now before I forget, it is a […]

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