Published Humanitas, Volume X, No. 1, 1997

When you performed
that necessary surgery
last night
I could have kissed
your splendid hands;
such absolute incision,
not a drop of blood
that might have left
unsightly—and suspicious—
insinuating homicide.

Your fingers, soft and
so magnificent,
detected my affected heart
that was beyond recovery
available to modern medicine,
and lifted it
like a small wounded bird—
out of its cage.

And yes of course
you saved me
for continued use.
Today I function
with superior efficiency
and equanimity,
one might say almost
I’m alive.

But such surprise
awaited me . . .
I had not known
that even absent
that pulsating thing
I still could love you
with all else
that passes for my self,
and yearn
as long as I have breath. . . .