Imaging Hearts

by Steven R Weiner

Gurney overlooking window

You are in a room where machines chirp
Like chicks in shells who will never peck free,

Machines too sleek and modern
To be birds, with spikes and curling tubes

Arrayed around small screens trained
To display your cells in codes, finding patterns

Of polarized cells and their magnetic
Energy released to move your body.

You are laying on a gurney
Like an old sailor washed up on an island,

Robinson Crusoe being cared for
By a stranger who says she’s here to help.

You’re stranded on the wild coast of a patient island
Where your blood is the ocean,

Where the sun rises and descends, real or artificial,
You can’t tell, white walls surround your island,

On a gurney, where your heart expands and contracts,
Like an old sea lion, its whole body breathes

As one mass, while you run, with the machine,
Up and down the slopes of your pulsations,

The tracings of the muscles of your heart speed up,
Hastened by a need for flight from deep within you,

Afraid of what the doctor thinks is wrong inside,
Or afraid he won’t understand it clearly.

No machine knows how to see the constant beating
Your heart and mind have been troubled to imagine.

The fist in your chest opens, closes, pulls and jerks,
As if by broken habit, or by lights and shadows fighting with your breath,

While your body must decide if it will accept help
And your heart sprints and lunges at your ribs.

Category: Featured, Poetry