Ablation - Poem by Helen Mort
Inside the Northern General
they're trying to burn away
a small piece of your heart.
I want to know which bit,
and what it holds.
My questions live
between what doctors call the heart
and what we mean by it,
wide as the gap between brain and mind.
And in our lineage of bypassed hearts
we should be grateful
for the literal. I know my heart
is your heart — good for running,
not much else
and later as you sit up in your borrowed bed
I get the whole thing wrong,
call it oblation. Offering
or sacriﬁce. As if you'd given something up.
As if their tiny ﬁre was ritual
and we could warm by it.
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Helen Mort's Other Poems
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The Road Not Taken
If You Forget Me
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I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You