Book of Secrets

…the body, that book
of mysteries and secrets, wins again.
Luisa A. Igloria, “Apocrypha

In my girlhood, I wanted a book of spells,
the kind I might find in a cobwebbed
corner of an attic.
But my newly constructed suburban
house had no attic, no cellar, no secrets
from past generations.

I wanted psychic powers,
ways to bend forces beyond my control.
What spell would I cast?
A snow day perhaps or the ability
to fly, an extra friend or two,
the ability to be alluring.

Now, as I wait for test
results, I divine from a different source
of secrets, books that discuss
the statistics of who lives and who dies,
the treatment options,
how many years of survival, the odds.
But I will never find the secret
worth having: why do some bodies spin
cancerous cells while others destroy
every invader?

The phone call comes with news
from the underworld:
benign but unusual.
I think of the Magic 8 ball
that we used to shake
for answers: Reply hazy
try again later. I remember
the tarot cards that seemed to predict
the answer we wanted to find.
I schedule a follow up appointment,
answers given in six month increments.

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