Lung Cancer

By A.M. Hemingway.

It’s a little after five in the morning and I’m convinced I have lung cancer. Self-diagnosed. Stage three, maybe four. All I know I’ve is got this cough out of the blue. I know it’s mid-November, but this is cancer. I can feel it. This is how my life goes.

I’m on a bus heading for D.C. to try to make it as a bohemian writer. I’m writing now to get my mind off of a man who will be known here as Johnny, the man next to me who, like his woman, can’t seem to reach their destination fast enough. They’ve come up for air a few times, and I’m sure head was given at some point.

“Who the fuck sits in a bus seat upside down,” I wonder.

I know I’m angry because of my ex, a small part of the reason I came to D.C. to chase old dreams in the first place. I’m trying to outrun here, but I learned long ago ghosts don’t haunt places or spaces; they haunt people. I can feel her hand inside my thigh, caressing me and whispering with equal parts playfulness and hunger:

“Oh, yeah, you like that?”

“She couldn’t pay me for her caress,” I lie to myself.

Sometimes I wonder if I did it wrong, like I’m running around trying to make sense of this shit while God sits and laughs at how futile my efforts are. Son of a bitch needs to cut the shit, I could be solving lung cancer right now.


A.M. Hemingway broods and writes. His work has appeared here, elsewhere, and in his head. His short collection, A Ghost Hovers Where Time Shadows, both does and does not exist.


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