Issue 2, Spring 2007


Open Heart Surgery
by Eric Weinstein

angina, they say,
was the first sign
as he scrubs his arms to the elbows.
he is her surgeon and husband
of twenty-eight years.

an hour later, her blood diverted,
her heart stops and the machines take over.

he cuts through her pericardium,
a fiery sword,
a flowering garden.
(they say in heaven
there are no husbands and no wives.)

against the humming of equipment
he thinks of another time,
winter, many years ago
his ear pressed to her chest
on the couch in her college apartment.

that night, he had dreamed
white worlds slept beneath her skin.

after they close her up,
successful, he does not think
of bright white skies or complications.

only this:

that her heart,
pale and still as a stone in water,
had looked just like every other.