I learned what I needed to know
of the parts of the heart,
beginning with the red chambers
and the blue chambers.
I learned the secret entrances
through the sternum,
into the neck,
or even across the broad bones of the hip.
I joked that I would call my band The Xiphoid Process or the QRS Wave.
I learned the passages of the heart:
the vena cava, the Carotid, the ventricles, the valves.
I watched movies of the valves
that fluttered and tore
and were replaced by plastic and porcine machines.
I saw how the tentacles
of the small machine
could still a piece of a beating heart,
while someone stitched
intricate spells on the wounds.
I learned that you can replace the human heart
with a machine,
but only for so long,
so long, so long,
not long enough.
Copyright Kay Winter