A Second Opinion
I told you what was in my heart.
You asked me to prove it, so
the next day,
I brought round the x-ray.
This here, I said, tapping the acetate,
is the shadow cast by a sleepless dervish.
And these black spots across my left ventricle
are starlings above a collapsing pier.
This mass here
is a hospital lost in a power cut.
And this rather dark abrasion
is a dead fox overlapping an empty wardrobe.
My monochrome torso went up in the window
and we all stared at it from across the room,
as if looking at my very own exhumed grave—
a skeleton jammed in a chimney flume.
And I knew that to the untrained eye,
the September evening in my chest looked mild.
But I trusted you, implicitly,
to take your coat with you
on the way out.
Refers to Ross Sutherland’s “A Second Opinion”