By | 1 July 1998

Latin from greek; meter: mother, polis: city.

Something very precise
had sawn her almost in two,
and she lay under the green sheet
like a fish half-gutted,

suspended in the amniotic sea
that pumped and pulsed
and breathed for her.

A single white line
measured her equilibrium;
the distance between heartbeats.

A monitor divides the metropolis
into meridians of light,

two lines of pulsating colour
build up around an obstacle;

a telegraph pole,
the wreckage of an ambulance
and the donor’s heart
still vacuum-sealed
and packed in ice

The white line falters
and she succumbs
to the blocked and loaded arteries of her heart
wondering, at the last
if this is what her mother meant
when she said
“I’ll kill you.”

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