Addenda, Report 2

Back from the brink: you’ve asked me to reflect
on what it’s meant to flirt with the abyss.
Yet, don’t we all? This fleshy edifice
will fall. If life’s the cause, death’s the effect.

My parents’ perfect gift had one defect:
one protease inhibitor it missed,
making my body its own nemesis,
wracking my lungs, leaving my liver wrecked.

And then a friend stepped up and gave me half
his liver, freeing me to draw away
from the abyss, to celebrate the debt

that we each owe to life: to love, to laugh,
to serve, to make full use of every day,
to greet each deathless dawn smiling, "Not yet . . . "