And The Beat Goes On

Pattie Palmer-Baker

Fall 2010 - Volume 14 Number 3

Autumn licks the maple’s outer

Branches where green heaves

With desire for the sunlight smashing

Stained-glass windows with red;

That long-wave extreme of the spectrum a heart pumps,

 

Red wave after wave. But my heart flutters

Like a weak fist clinching, opening

As wide as a cracked door. Blood backs up, thickening

Into a sticky red-black pool where tiny fists might float.

The doctor’s fear: one will break loose and hurtle

To my brain, punch a black hole that sucks words, moons, worlds.

 

Only a little dangerous, although.

Not like atrial fibrillation, a serial-killer; pumps

Wild, erratic, erotic. I would die for that beat.

But this heart flutter beats weakly, organizes

Into a saw-toothed pattern; perfect for me, a woman

Clutching her heart for fear of.

 

I accede to the doctor’s order: an anticoagulant to thin

Syrupy black-cherry blood until watery red races

In my veins, pumping up

Centers in the purple flowers my skin blooms.

 

A medical warning; my new blood,

High on thinners, might amass

Red until it ‘bleeds out.’

But why should I care? I am seasoned

In autumn. Color-drunk,

I welcome death for a dripping slice of life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

etoc emailClick here to join the eTOC list or text TPJ to 22828. You will receive an Email notice with the Table of Contents of each issue.

The Permanente Journal advances knowledge in scientific research, clinical medicine and innovative health care delivery. It is a peer-reviewed journal of medical science, social science in medicine, and medical humanities.

The Permanente Press

The Permanente Press publishes The Permanente Journal and books related to health care. For information about subscriptions, missing issues, billing, subscription renewal, and back issues, Email: permanente.journal@kp.org.

Circulation

27,000 print readers per quarter, 15,350 eTOC readers, and in 2018, 2 million page views of TPJ articles in PubMed from a broad international readership.

CME

The Kaiser Permanente National CME Program designates this journal-based CME activity for 4 AMA PRA Category 1 Credits. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


ISSN 1552-5767 Copyright © 2019 thepermanentejournal.org.

All Rights Reserved.