Pectoriloquy |

Heart Suite FREE TO VIEW

Ellen Steinbaum
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Editor’s Note: The author writes: “I am the author of two poetry collections and a former columnist for The Boston Globe. I wrote this poem because poetry is my way of thinking about my private world and the larger one we share.”

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (http://www.chestpubs.org/site/misc/reprints.xhtml).

© 2012 American College of Chest Physicians

Chest. 2012;141(2):565. doi:10.1378/chest.11-1151
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i carry your heart with me(i carry it in my heart)…
      E. E. Cummings
A heart of wisdom,
I said that day
beside the lake,
knowing even then
about the narrowing
that stood between us
patiently whispering
its own story.
Always the unseen
universe of shadows
has its demands, its
plans to hurry us along,
the tall tree circle of ifs and
thens moving in a little closer.
(What I want is time
and time and time and no
cutting of his sweet skin and
no slicing through his
good bones and no
hurt, no pain, and my
arms wrapping protection
around him
as if things ever
worked that way.)
Almost painful that
sapphire, that magenta:
impatiens, morning glories
pouring out their last
into the burnished air.
No pale new shoots,
tame blossoms now but this
bright frenzied overgrowth
grabbing for our throats
and hanging on, this
wringing out of drops,
savoring of crumbs, sharp
metal taste on tongue,
this dazzling ache of
petals littering the ground.




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