The Cough

I develop my chemo cough like a photograph
in the dark room of my chest. I keep
my chemo cough in my chest of drawers,
out of reach of my children, the rattling bottle.
The gravel road. My old neurooncologist
once suggested to Mom that it would be the treatment
that kills me, not the tumor. The thunder
in my body gathers in the branches of my lungs.

Something is forming in the dark, or some
one. My children are right to feel afraid. My dog

is right to scamper under the grand piano.
What the end is I cannot conclude from the now
available data. April’s outburst of rain, ice, 
all hand sleight. Mixed signals. Killing kindness. 

By Cameron Morse

Cameron Morse (he, him) is Senior Reviews editor at Harbor Review and the author of eight collections of poetry. His first collection, Fall Risk, won Glass Lyre Press’s 2018 Best Book Award. His latest is The Thing Is (Briar Creek Press, 2021). He holds an MFA from the University of Kansas City-Missouri and lives in Independence, Missouri, with his wife Lili and three children.