Today He Will Cut Me Open

Cheryl Heineman


The doctor stops by my bed.
I’m in a hospital gown in pre-op.
I touch my old scars.
I say, do you just keep cutting
until there is nothing left?

I don’t get where cancer fits.
I have opened my tongue to the rain,
kissed sailors on the train,
drank with certainty
of my right to exist.

I wore long skirts.
For God’s sake,
I had daisies in my hair.


Cheryl Heineman graduated in 2017 with a Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from San Diego State University. She also has a master’s degree in Jungian Psychology and has published three collections of poetry: Just Getting Started, something to hold onto, and It’s Easy to Kiss a Stranger on a Moving Train.

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