Five laps around the cancer ward.

Five laps takes you past the little girl with eyes too big to see Grandma slyly slipping away.

Five laps will exercise your bones just enough to let the chemotherapy keep destroying you.

Five laps and you can’t go on because next door, right next door, an old man is talking loudly on his cellphone to his brother about their sister’s last moments.

If you don’t do your laps, you stay in your room and forget.

When you do your laps you see the normal nurses and the Baltic ones ministering to the grieving.

Five laps around the cancer ward where people with eyes wider than yours on your first day stare out silently asking “What The HELL?!

Laptops are plugged in everywhere as if somehow a video conference with eternity will be interrupted by a Governor’s pardon.

I don’t know if people can see me.

I don’t know if I exist as I spook their halls.

Five miles away is ice cream and movies and daughters and, and, and …

Five laps down. Five million more.