This is what it’s like
This is us on the long term
Doubting ourselves
This is …

Jolene has cancer
Her husband
watches her close
Her body
frail as
People move
around her
like water
Around a rock
glances to
Her headband
And what it means
These glances
Cause my stomach to
I know
They are felt
More than seen
Society cutting you off
Small stones cast at you

Her wiry frame
And careful steps
Show the evidence of her
But you wouldn’t know
From her eyes
They hold a much younger
A fire
You can see
The memories
You look

Their younger days
As a floor cleaning service
Working together at
Night trying to make this marriage
Thing stick
Because school and everything else
Was pulling them apart
To their long distance
Biting at her shoulder
Asking her to stay on spring break

Stranded in a blizzard
Certain of nothing
Short of a romantic death …
You can see it
If you look.
If you pay attention


I always feel this connection with death
Like it’s a friend
Like it’s just there
Not an enemy
Standing with a cigarette
To gather me
And leave behind
A pyramid of
Papers and work
For someone
To discover

I feel this way about life
Like the key views
On life
Will lead me down two very different
Maybe it’s because
I was born a premie
Barely alive
The dr
I’m told
Tried to convince my mother
To abort me
Named Ethan (for strong and enduring)
My sister I’m told was born so early
She could rest in my fathers palm
Both of us were
Born against the “better judgment”
Of our Dr’s
Half my life
I’ve fought to live

I keep seeing a dr somewhere
Scrubbing his hands
And considering
The heart beat
The heart beat that he saves
And the heartbeat that he ends
And then listening …
He feels his own heartbeat
And considers
The beginning
Of life
We all are just that
A heartbeat
Spirit beings
To be heard
To be felt
To be understood
A heartbeat sets us apart
Our eyes open
Star dust pushing through our veins
We begin fighting
From then
Until our very last
To leave our mark

I fell in love
With a biologist
She told me
It was her body
While I understood
I wasn’t sure what I
Personally thought
Or felt …
I didn’t really say anything
But she explained it’s just a parasite
A sack of cells
Like a vegetable
Until it moves

I still don’t know
I like the idea
Of hope
I like the idea of life
Of connecting
Of our voices meaning something
I’ve seen women abused
I’ve felt
When you spend all day as a child
Away from home
Because it’s easier
When you sit in a hospital
And your mother is crying
And you see the stress
The pain and you understand
This is life
We cannot plan for it
And love
Love ends
And you finally
These things have been going
On for decades

We will not fix them in a day
Or a century
They cannot be ‘fixed’
But for me
Is music
Life is art
Life is language
Life is love
Earth and water
And night with storms
We were born
And from our first heartbeat
Until our last we are dying
We have the universe in us
And yet
We play with beginnings
For the excitement
The flash in the pan
Things that can’t be held
we run from anything with an ending
Because we know
It means our end
And someone will be there
When we have cancer
When our only youthful
Resemblance to a past
A beginning is in our eyes
A window
To the nights spent in bed
The long goodbyes
And the short hours

Everything worth having is
Connected to an end
Our end
That’s what makes it worth it
That’s what gives our lives meaning
So walk with people
And forget the rest
And make
Great art
And forget about the rest
Maybe I don’t know
Maybe I’m wrong
I just know
We’re getting older
And there is a city
And maybe
In that city
Is a woman with cancer
And her memory
Is seen in her eyes
By her husband
And maybe somewhere else in that
Same city
There’s a Dr
Washing his hands
And a girl
Looking at stars
And a writer
Smoking her cigarettes
with ash in her wine
And somewhere tonight
In the middle of it all
There’s me ….
at 2am

When I get a message
Because I never sleep

“Can I ask you something completely lame”
“You can ask me anything you like.”
“Do you think I’m special or am I ordinary.
Cause I feel easily replaced to people and it kind of blows.”

“I think if I met you
I’d fall in love with you
And it would be the end of me
That’s what I think.”
” you really think so?”
“I’ve never called anyone else when I was high.”
” I am extraordinarily flattered.”

And at the end of it all
All we have
Is us…
And the dreams
We make
And the way we love
The way we live
All I really know
Is we
Are getting older
And we are not quite
So young anymore
So be aware of
Your heart while
It’s beating …



2 thoughts on “Heartbeats

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