and my beat went all Cucamonga
rapido and érratico, it was all I could do
to push my I.V. tree ahead of me
to make the lap around the heart attack
and stroke ward. They told me
it would strengthen the healing muscle,
but overdo it, and I could burst something,
dislodge a clot, or some other
kind of fatal shit. I was wired for 3
kinds of signal, a monitor broadcasting
my stats in a neon ticker feed.
Past the sunrise mural, past the wall of “angels”,
nurses noticed and honored with halo stickers,
past the room where warm blankets emerged,
past other patients’ rooms
gaping and gasping, where I averted my eyes.
They were older than me. They were sicker
than me. Look at me: I was walking the ward,
pushing my tree, walking the ward, pushing
my tree, in my treaded booties, walking,
in my doubled johnnie, walking, in my floating
mind, mine forever, or for as long as my heart
had fed it rich blood, my eyes and ears
and other senses fed it sensations for thought
and being, walking, pushing my tree,
what’s a set of numbers to a heart such as mine?
Breathing, walking, pushing my tree,
one bootied foot and then the next
in an integrated gait, body cooperating
with the central force, and the will
from the top of the column, drawing
from the heart to take a second lap.