The Poet’s love- The cancer. A new chapter finally.

The Poet’s love- The cancer

A Chapter by Coyote Poetry


A new chapter.


                                     The Poet’s love

Leo watched Paloma and Johnnie leave. Johnnie face had aged. The last time he saw him. He was robust and loud. They , danced with pretty Teja’s girls and drank the Honduras rum till four a.m in the morning. This was four years back and he saw death in his friend face. He had lost many to cancer and sometimes. The cancer is caught too late and a painful and lousy death shall come. Lawrence touched his shoulder and he told him. Johnnie had Gastric cancer, stomach cancer. It is in the late stages. He went to the Cancer treatment centers of American. He tried the chemo and the new drug Keytruda. The treatment was too late. Johnnie called me last month and he told me. I’m bald, tire and I need my Honduras. Dear Lawrence, I’m coming to Trujillo to die my friend. Took him 30 days to get here. Stomach cancer is quiet. Most times the cancer showed-up too late and no treatment can work. I called Paloma and I called you. Johnnie will need us. He had one last wish. For us to go to Port Austin, Michigan. When he is gone. Burn some sage and spread his ashes to the lake Huron waves. I have my travel visa. You and Paloma have proper passports and we must leave as soon as possible.

Leo looked sad and he asked. Why didn’t you tell me this on the phone? Lawrence looked at the Trujillo bay and he told him. He wanted his death to be as painless as possible. Paloma doesn’t know. I brought Elena here from the city. She will use her herbal medicine to make the pain less. Maybe she can slow down his death. Johnnie told me to tell you. Don’t show me the ugly faces. Let’s me die liked I lived. Foolish and fearless. Laughing, drinking and with my dear friends near. He will tell Paloma in the morning. He had been here in secret for five days. Elena gave him the graviola soup, five time daily and buckhorn tea with every meal. She forced down the cat claw into him twice daily. Elena is trying to extend his life. The gastric cancer had spread and his days can be few or many if the herbal medicine can slow down the spreading. Leo begin to cry and Lawrence wrapped his arms around him and he whispered. You cry tonight and tomorrow you smile and laugh for our old friend. Two old men watched the movement of the Trujillo bay. Needed silence this night.

Johnnie brought Paloma closer and he whispered a silence prayer. Thank you lord of life and death for Paloma, my dear friends and Trujillo. Paloma wasn’t sleeping. She knew Johnnie was dying and she knew. He didn’t want tears and sadness. She remembered him. Standing above the dead Mexican in Mexico city and he told her. Not your time to die my love. Go now and I will find you again. A long night for her. She knew the morning the truth would be set free. This night was to embrace her Johnnie. She loved being the Poet’s love. She knew already. Johnnie was fading away.

In the morning. Johnnie awoke early and Elena had the soup and tea on a small table. He went to the table and he drank the tea and he began to eat the soup. Leo came to him and he wrapped his arms around him. He whispered to him. What will I do without you? Leo’s tears begin to fall and he told him. My last tears for you my friend. We will go to Port Austin, drink the Michigan wine and whiskey. You will die like a Ojibwa warrior. Once you told me. When I’m dead. Put me in a small raft with some hay. Allow my body to burn and flow to the heavens. I will try to do this. Paloma appeared from the motel room and Leo kissed his forehead and he walked toward Paloma. He kissed her forehead, face cheek and lips than he walked away.

Paloma sat with Johnnie. She gave him an odd smile and she whispered. Please tell me the truth. I’m not a baby and I saw how cancer can kill. You are hiding the truth and please tell me. What we are doing my love? Johnnie loved his Spanish love. She was still as beautiful as when he held her hand and he sang love songs to her thirty year ago. He told her. I was a normal man. Never saw a doctor and one day.  I couldn’t walk and the pain came. I went to the Veteran Hospital and the old doctor told me I had advance gastric cancer. They told me my chances were not very good. I didn’t want to die yet and I requested some treatment. The treatment was useless. Just make me sicker. I was going to do the good Ojibwa death. Go to my land. Sit alone by Lake Superior and die in private. Be food for the coyotes and the wolf. I had a dream. Part of you died when you learned I die alone. You never show your real face again. The damn Nagual’s dreams told me. Find Trujillo and your friends. Don’t die alone and die with the last vision I will see. You, my beautiful Paloma.

Paloma began to cry and she whispered. Thank you Johnnie. If you die without a proper goodbye. I would had died too. I’m the Poet’s love and I will not leave you. You have loved me for thirty years and you have seen me at my weakest. You made me stand-up and be strong. You have been my only love in my life. I will stay with you dear Johnnie. What shall we do now? He smiled at her. I have one request you will dislike. I want you, Leo and Lawrence to come to Port Austin with me. Trujillo is my first home and Port Austin is my second. I love Lake Huron. I want us to celebrate my last days by the great lake. Paloma whispered dear Johnnie. I will go to hell and back with you. He brought her closer and he embraced her. He kissed her a dozen time and he whispered. I love you dear Paloma. She whispered. I love you my Johnnie.

He told her. Elena had slow-down the cancer. She brought me things from the four corners of this world. The American white lily and the greater celandine had made me feel okay. I feel good enough to travel now. Elena is coming too. She had become the fifth legs of us now. She saved Leo and hard-headed Leo made her stay with him. She will find the herbs needed and she will take care of me and us. Elena came near and she kissed Johnnie forehead and she went to Paloma and she kissed Paloma lips. She whispered. The cancer is stalled. Johnnie came too late. The bacteria had expanded and all I can do is trying to slow down the cancer. Leo showed-up and he told them. Tonight the last party on the Trujillo beach for the four warrior plus one new one. Me and Elena are one now. She couldn’t fight me off no-more. She made me understand the lost of my wife and child years ago. She taught me. I could love again.

The night was coming. May is Trujillo. So damns hot and so damn beautiful. Lawrence had organized a large party. The whole city would turn-out. Free food, music and free drink.  Paloma dressed slowly in front of the mirror. Johnnie saw the marks on her back given to her by the Mexican police. He went to her and he whispered. We must one thing before we go to Port Austin. I want you and I to go to Mexico City. Burn some sage and pray for Susana Castillo Chavez. First we must be marry. You are I shall be a marry couple in Mexico city. Two strangers just seeking the martyr kind poet. Leo is a famous painter now. Lawrence, Leo and Elena will come with. A stranger came in and he smiled. I’m the Catholic priest of the only church here in Trujillo. My name is Juan and I  will marry you tonight and I will create the proper documents.  I wanted to meet the famous Paloma and Johnnie. You  gave your money for my food and medicine charity many times. I do appreciate your kindness. Tonight I will return the kindness.

Paloma walked with Johnnie on the quiet beach. People were near setting up for the party. You could smell the food and the workers had the Spanish music playing loud. She asked him.  You want to marry me and I didn’t receive the proper invitation. You think I’m a class-less lady who don’t need a proper question?  He went to one knee and he embraced her waist tightly. He kissed her bare stomach and he looked at her beautiful face. He asked her. My dear Paloma. Would you marry an old fool. You are my Poet’s love. I want to live and die in the kind smile of your face. Paloma begins to cry and she caressed his face. I will love to marry you my Johnnie.

John Castellenas/Coyote



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