The first time I met Lamar,
November turned the city grey.

A bus waited anonymously
with only the last free seat.

Then, I didn’t know, to face a stranger
was to fling-open a seperate world:

it was just the weight upon our faces,
the bearing it, the “I will make it work.”


By February, his cancer came back,
my love-life swung from its orbit.

Now, I would bring wine to a home
filled with chicken, rice, and steam.

There was no talk of test results.
Only The Haves and the Have Nots until

he asked me to call, mouthed
“colon removal,” began to cry.


For weeks, I dreaded visiting him,
dreaded the impotence of words:

“Hi Lamar. I just wanted to say
that there is nothing I can say.”

March began to turn the city green.


When I came to his room,
he was not there. I only

heard his voice down the hall
as he hung up his phone,

cheered on other patients.
To prognosis, he said he does not know.

“Great people here,” he continued “Look-
A boy gave me a red wristband... Isn’t that crazy?

He guessed my favorite color… red.”