Barbara Walters asked, “But what would you do
if the doctor only gave you six months to live?”
Asimov answered, “Type faster.”
The urge is to write ALL THE BOOKS. Some may be
too ambitious. The epic science fiction series,
the fantasy trilogy, the huge, tangled memoir
on love and nationalism and writing and sex.
Even the cookbook revision may be too
strenuous – will the body still be able to endure
hours chopping onions, ginger, garlic?
The scent alone may be too much. Strange
to contemplate – food no longer a comfort.
Yet surely the poetry, domestic & small,
will be manageable. When first writing
as a broken-hearted student, it was poetry
that emerged, words that wouldn’t speak
out loud, weeping their way across the page,
sometimes raging. Catharsis and consolation.
My partner asks, if time is limited,
which book is most urgent? What hasn’t
been said yet? Time is always limited,
and so far, everything known well enough
to say, has been said. That’s something.
But time is not yet over, and every day,
more small truths emerge in the silences.
Asimov was right. As long as fingers
and mind function, there will be writing –
as much as the body can stand. There will
be poems, but there will also be books.