Jul/Aug 2017 Poetry Special Feature

New Self-Portrait

by Sharon Mathews and David Mathews

Image courtesy of the British Library Photostream

New Self-Portrait

A gallery of cancer patients are on display:

          The Young Girl Waiting Patiently.
          The Lonely Man Who Never Quit Smoking.
          The Worried Mother Seated with Son.

And now I am one of them.

          I labeled them and now they can label me.

Is this how Dorian Gray felt peeking at his portrait?
What happens if I rip my own to ribbons?

They take a marker to my canvas where the radiation
          begins the uniform acceleration of my free fall.

I can’t move during treatment,
even though in my head
flying frenzied sirens are singing to my fears.

I must be like Ulysses tied to the post of my own ship.


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