Chemo Brain

BethAnn Caputo recently graduated from Adelphi University with a BA in English. She has a passion for travel and has taught creative writing classes in Ireland. Her work is either forthcoming or can be seen at The Rusty Nail, Downer Magazine, The Story Shackand Daily Love. She currently lives, works, and writes in Brooklyn NY.

Chemo Brain
By BethAnn Caputo

Before breakfast,
spit blood in sink.
Step on scale—
cringe, curse steroids.
Paint eyebrows, straighten wig.
Buy coffee, choke down acid.
Dump coffee in gutter,
Buy apples, 
Eat fruit, taste metal.
Go home, pop pills,
Get high, few z's.
Wake up, pet cat,
Eat bread, blow grits,
Cry, clean toilet.
Undress, start bath,
Read, lose focus,
Read, lose focus again,
Give up.
Unclog drain, can hair,
Avoid the mirror,
Dry off—
Avoid the mirror,
Avoid the mirror,
Look in the mirror,
Me, that thing in the mirror.


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  • 1/18/2013 9:54 AM jeanette cheezum wrote:
    What a powerful poem. You've left me with quite a visual and much sadness in my heart. They must find a cure for cancer. Stop wasting all the money for research. You are our poster lady. Prayers.
    Reply to this
  • 1/20/2013 9:32 PM bobbietroy wrote:
    I have two family members who have gone through chemo so I can relate to this. It's spot on.
    Reply to this
  • 1/29/2013 12:38 PM Kathleen Thompson wrote:
    Your poem is like a punch in the gut. It has stripped down this experience to its gritty, horrible truth. Beautiful.
    Reply to this
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