Emily Calvo is a freelance creative director/copywriter whose clients include design firms, advertising agencies, corporations, publishers and non-profit organizations. She has survived both breast and APL leukemia. Her cancers gave her the courage to publish her book, Lending Color to the Otherwise Absurd, a combination of original poetry and artwork. This poem is one of the many fabulous selections.

Three Points Mark Commitment

Her mother and

have matching tattoos

scratched over our hearts.

Penned by a woman in white

who chatted up summer fests

and weather patterns

to lead my mind elsewhere,

three points construct

a landing field to show where

to pummel with radiation.

The treatment room ceiling is canopied

with blue paint and paper leaves.

Machines pop and ping

as the napalm drop

deadens all things in its field—

even feelings.

Her mother and I

waged war with cells,

knives and stitches,

nerves and pills,

web searches and herbs,

whispers and promises.

I never had a tattoo until now—

couldn’t commit to one image for life.

Commit for life?

Commit to life.