Inside Out

It is either serious or it isn’t.
The indeterminate mass, 14.8 cm long,
is either a cyst or a tumor.
If a tumor, either benign or malignant.
If malignant, either slow-growing
or aggressive, in which case
they may contain it. If not,
no one else will recall
this unseasonable day of waiting
exactly as you felt it, from the inside out                                
—the way the heat of your mind
dropped a few degrees
and grew very quiet. The sediment
settled. You managed to divert
yourself with words. Then
you consulted the uncommon
clarity of the sky. A mild   
translucent blue: a sign,
perhaps. The leaves held still
in the almost imperceptible breeze,
though at the tips of the branches
the first buds of spring
were so close-fisted
you couldn’t be sure
whether you saw them, or not.

-- first published in The Kenyon Review

listen Listen to Chana Bloch reading "Inside Out"