“Cancer Lyric I” by Bekah Steimel

Surviving is not the same as living. Living is not the same as loving. There was breath in my lungs before I met you. You vanished, and I still breathe. But I draw the line at oxygen. I will put no more effort into my existence. My sanity is a flight risk right now. I am emotionally hemorrhaging. I cannot bear another ounce of your absence. Yet, everyday I discover you missing in a new way. Today was the grocery bill, roughly a third of what it should have been. I feel as though my life is undergoing a horrifying makeover. Everything is getting touched up, redone. It makes it more difficult to push myself out of our bed. I cling to it like a ship that might someday sail away. It has been months, and though I’ve washed our sheets, I fear I shall sleep on them until they are threadbare. With you I had goals, a target to aim for. Without you I only have hours to push through. Each one feels longer and heavier than the last.  I knew I would die with you, one way or another.


Bekah Steimel is a poet and a flirt. Her recent work has appeared in River Poets Journal, Third Wednesday, and The Blue Nib. She lives in St. Louis, MO (USA) and can be found online at bekahsteimel.com and followed on Twitter and Instagram @BekahSteimel.