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Poetry #400
(published September 18, 2008)
The Resting Place
by Alison Eastley
Behind the fifth left
intercostal space, 8-9 cm from the
mid-sternum, or about 4 cm below
and 2 mm to the medial side of the left

mammary papilla
lies the apex
of his heart although I wasn't thinking
this when I lay

listening to his heart beat.
The word atrium came to mind
and for a long time, I couldn't name
the rest of his heart.

It wasn't until he left
my house
to go back to his
I had an afternoon nap

in the place he said he was too satisfied
and would try and find some angst
but he came back
almost smug like a half-smile

with lips half-closed
when I thought the muscular
connection known to exist
between the atria

and the ventricles is different
from the silence
of the resting place, the moment his heart
is so still his mouth

could be his belly
the way he talks
from the diaphragm
where the tip of the atrium is.

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