It has stared at us for thirty years,
the scar they drew when your heart
objected to the material world.
That morning the salvia needed trimming
and the sun was brilliant but you
were dying in the windowless room
as if you needed to concentrate
on what was being shed:
only your body
within the body of the world
within a body of stars and so
I hammered your chest without doubt,
as much to keep your shape
as convince your blood to circle on its own.
And I saw in the living an effort to remain
things in a collection of things:
people chatting in lines or gathering in fields
like trinkets or coins.
And I made you keep your membership,
my mouth to yours, blowing, blowing
until they arrived like workers for their queen,
fire engines and a bright ambulance.
I counted in the emergency room
eleven people who touched you or your gurney
or the paraphernalia of hope,
the tubes of air and liquid that tied you
puppet-like to this world before
they cracked your ribs, removed your heart
and rubbed it like a favorite vase.
You stayed,
fragile, yes, but so dimensional
and this morning left a list of things to do:
presents for the twins,
trim the salvia, dinner with friends.