Chemo Limp – by Cameron Morse

I google chemo limp. Todd said he could see my chemo limp from the house he rents across 41st
Street. I ask him what his name is. Todd, he says, and gives his reasons for suddenly mowing my
lawn. Google guesses I mean Impotence (Erectile Dysfunction) and people also ask, “How do you
know if chemo is killing you?” It’s a good question. Todd, who plays the drums, nursed a guitarist in
his band for eight years, eerily the exact duration of my journey since diagnosis, before Mr. Limp
Stratocaster collapsed in a face-melting final solo of experimental drugs. I miss mowing: The dirty
grind of the engine, the geometry of lines demarcating the lush and tall and uncut, on the one hand,
from the satisfyingly buzzed on the other; the trembling sweaty satisfaction of that dirty job and the
reward of a shower in the afternoon afterwards. I love the reverie of the mower. No voices audible
over the roar, no calls, something sacred in that space, the stickiness of the invisible blood of grass.
The stench.

Cameron Morse (he, him) is Senior Reviews editor at Harbor Review and the author of eight collections of poetry. His first collection, Fall Risk, won Glass Lyre Press’s 2018 Best Book Award. His latest is The Thing Is (Briar Creek Press, 2021). He holds an MFA from the University of Kansas City-Missouri and lives in Independence, Missouri, with his wife Lili and three children. For more information, check out his Facebook page or website.