I left a season of forwarding addresses
for the Midwest. I had a bad heart,
mis-ticking like a broken Timex, clots
of last May stuck in its crown–the fluid
around my left ventricle was where whiskey went
to keep me company.
I think I hold onto the wrong things.
I ran a ballpoint over my sternum, nurses talk
electrocardiogram pentameter and ACE inhibitors.
My hospital room contracted its ribs.
Wading in the deep end of Knob Creek,
I had forgotten how eyelashes flutter
or how a dead leaf can be removed from
my shoulder like the weight of loneliness.
Here, now, in the land of Lincoln, surrounded by faceless
days I could count on one hand, I didn’t even notice
how the hours bend like a weeping willow canopy
at my bedside, counting the syllables of my pulse.
Jim Warner’s poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in various journals including The North American Review, [PANK] Magazine, Five Quarterly, The Minnesota Review, and is the author of two collections Too Bad It’s Poetry and
Social Studies (PaperKite Press). Currently, Jim is the Managing Editor of Quiddity housed at Benedictine University in Springfield, IL and writes the weekly column “Best Worst Year” for Sundog Lit.