In the evening, my mother calls and tells me
her friend’s twenty-three-year-old grandson
collapsed in a parking lot last Thursday,
and at the hospital, they found a tumor
behind his eye. The plan had been
extraction. If followed by radiation,
the doctors said, he would have  
a good chance. But when
they opened him up, they saw
the growth had melded with his motor-
skills, his memory, so they left it, giving him
six months in a body that can
hold a cup, remember his siblings’
names. I don’t know anything else
about him, but he must have thought
someday he’d be my age. And isn’t
that the cruelest part of an infinite mind
in a mortal body? Someday, when twenty-three
years is hardly the time it takes.