My heart is not a lacy valentine.
It is an anatomic pump
Strong walls of long runs
The steady consistency of beating soles
Chasing beating atria
My heart is not a pink icon on a screen
It is alive. Muscle. Cells.
Blood, that pulses thick and viscous
Tethered to the blue veins in my wrists
My heart is not a doodle above an i
It is a three dimensional thing
That knows time and space
Transversely. Sagittally. Coronally.
Cradled by gentle curve of the aortic arch
Don’t think you can reach it
It has grown up inside a sturdy cage
Flanked by intercostal muscles. Cartilage.
And a thick line of medieval vertebrae
Oh it is comfortable there. It belongs there.
Inside its pericardial hammock
Dangling just deep
To the pendent around my neck
The body bares more than one Achilles heel
That I neglected to remember
While studying flashcards of origins
And maybe you can’t touch my heart
But you can see it’s impression
At the point of maximal impulse
And maybe you can’t hold it
But you can hear it
In a quiet room
If I stand still just so
If I trust you just so
If I let you place your ear, just so.
And now, I am left confused.
How to fit love within the borders of anatomy?
Poetry Thursdays is a weekly newsletter that highlights poems by medical students and physicians. This initiative is led by Slavena Salve Nissan at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. If you are interested in contributing, please contact Slavena.