A Poet's Double Life

For poets working outside the literary world.

November PAD Challenge, Day 17

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Broken red and blue hearts with ECG

Heart Sick


This time it was a mild case:

fluctuating chills and fever,

swollen eyes, nose spouting mucus

into tissue balls. What it wants:

another warm body under chin-tucked

covers. What it gets: citrus and rest.

But I’ve seen it worse: this heart of mine—

unrecognizable—attacking itself like Lupus.

It comes home after every relapse, crumples

into the childhood bed strung out

on the last high. How can I forgive it again,

after I’ve scrubbed the stench of its vomit

from the bathroom floor, after I’ve slept

beside the hospital bed listening to the hiss

of machines breathing all night, after it’s exposed

in the harsh truth of daylight—bruised and black,

almost broken, never to be undamaged again?


~Pamela Taylor © 2013

Author: poetsdoublelife

Poet and strategy/data guru living in Massachusetts.

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