Now and then this aging heart of mine
will hop or thud
insistently upon the old box spring mattress,
more irritating than the upstairs insomniac.
That steady beat inside this tired chest
at the end of one more day.
I must turn just so that it fades
into the silent pulses at my wrists.
Then the times when it seems to fall into a void,
approximating a tall
building's high speed elevators, or like the time
I first saw her Persian eyes,
or for that matter the graceful dancer,
or even Eastwood's unforgiven cowboy
waking from a high fever three days and nights long
while an angel
with a cruel scar on her cheek hovered over him
like that blue sky.
There was the time it squeezed slow, gushing waves
of pressure, when I believed,
when it seemed reasonable that I was about to die;
the packed commuter bus
without brakes careening down a curving
hillside road, the driver frantic.
When we came to a stop aside a stout wall of concrete,
wonder-filled heart carried me home
along an unfamiliar path that felt safe,
my gaze shifting left and right and from where I came,
looking for signs.
It makes boxer's sounds too, or at least
the sound of bone and flesh striking
bone and flesh, menace and fear and a scent
that brings what is insatiable.
From behind my ears waves of heat
that overcome my native calm with contempt.
My biology disciplines will tell me that the major organ systems
beyond the thrall of the hippies who staff the Humanities.
The Frank - Starling curve that is the tension
of the walls of your heart against
the elastic resistance of your humour hungry flesh,
that is the poetry of my learning.
The orbits of the planets, the certain tides,
and yet I cannot stop thinking
of the first man with a robot for a heart,
was he not still a man?
All the relevant hemodynamic parameters must have been
considered, calculated, programmed
to the fourth decimal place; this place,
I, where we all must have been.
This place of the human heart.