The cancer he wanted
to cut out of my back
somehow disappeared
in the month
since the biopsy.

Or at least none of us here
today — nurse, medical
students, dermatologist,
and patient, all
speculating together —
can find any sign of it.

I want to tell them
that this is a miracle,

that the holy water
I rubbed on it
and the prayers I said
every night paid off
in a most tangible way.

But there was no holy water
or prayer, so I say nothing,
and the dermatologist,
who is not someone
easily impressed
by the supernatural,
goes back
to work and finds
another cancer
with deeper roots

next to my right ear

in the short gray hair there,
which used to be red.