May 28, 2023

Conditional Love

“Put me on an ice flow and send it out,” says my father.
I tell him it’s not funny, this isn’t the tenth century.

After two days he leaves the hospital like it never happened.
Lucky, the doctor said, a small clot, no damage.

Second generation, eastern Europe, my long femur,
short waist, and straight shoulders mirror my father.

I’m in line to inherit arrhythmia –
a glitch that flubs the heart’s chamber

with a sloppy sputter when it wants a solid snap shut.
Live long enough and you get to watch

each vital function fail, recalling pretty memories,
what you knew of yourself.

When the time comes I’ll suspend the moment,
the hush of a single craft putting out to sea.