the healing muse

Volume 13, 2013

waiting room

Joan Cofrancesco

—The heart, which is the bastion of life, is also the repository of the past. —David Krafchow, Kabbalistic Tarot, 2005

rainy and dark out
i’m in the waiting room
listening to mozart
on my ipod
surrounded by worriers
Time in my lap
they are taking the vein
the saphenous vein
they will use it
to make a detour
around the blocked area
in the artery

the heart beats 72 times a minute, 100,000 times a day, 36,000,000 times a year and 2.5 billion times during a lifetime

they call me
to say
the operation has started
a stainless steel
saber saw buzzes
in the background

i imagine you
floating above
the stretcher
one of chagall’s lovers
watching them open
your chest

every day the heart creates enough energy to drive 20 miles, and a lifetime is equal to driving to the moon and back

they call me to say
he is on bypass

the heart weighs 11 ounces, pumps 2,000 gallons of blood through 60,000 miles of vessels each day

like rilke’s black panther
i pace the white halls
of the hospital

i catch glimpses of death
carrying a glass cane
decorated with skeletons and bones
he’s in black scrubs
with a black designer surgical cap
he is all business

Back to Volume 13, Table of Contents

Upcoming Events


Accepted annually September 1 through May 1.