I Am a Pioneer of the Artificial Heart

1 August 2016

The heart has to come completely
out of the body.

Lift now, hold now–I could explain
myself better.

The smoldering wires before
the house fire.

The growths that grow back,
grow back

at even the cleanest margins, at the threshold
of the tree line.

The body is a lie.
If I were to say

a copse of, does that mean anything,
further the number

of burr holes in the Ash tree as it loses limb
and limb–O Emerald

Ash Borer, your jeweled metastases,
your larvaes’ serpentine

feeding galleries. If I say the lakes here
look like fingers,

and the patches of milfoil, myrio,
meaning ten thousand,

meaning too many to count, spread
like the exanthem of disease–

But in this painting by George Boorujy
a blue jay is “anting,”

sitting and spreading its wings
in the dirt,

letting ants crawl up into its feathers
to eat the mites.

As in one infestation
can cure another.

I am a pioneer of the artificial heart.
A garden hose

with too much pressure
shooting through.

Fever of unknown
origins.

The body of the lake
a body all around me

tingling with milfoil. There is no cure.
I want to unstory this story,

patent this invention, this pump
of doubt.

My pill-box heart, wooden arms
and legs,

spasms in the limbs:
electrified marionette

of hospital gauze and desire.
I begin to empty of blood.

The heart valves, little lub-dub mouths,
they snap shut.

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