Inflicted Upon Love - Poem by Patti Masterman
I drew the sterile drapes and readied the scalpel.
The patient was prepped and breathing quietly,
The face so relaxed- as only I had seen it, many times before:
It was my lover, who had agreed to go under the knife,
To let me see the heart that loved, the muscles that moved beneath mine.
The paralytics had done their task, and all was peaceful below.
I cut deeply toward the sternum, laying over the fat layers.
The saw made quick work of the ribcage, which separated fully,
The retractors held the open framework, how beautiful it would be!
How many got to see the special engine that animated their loved one?
Then I saw it- the grainy scar tissue, the gritty white crepe paper
Of a heart besieged by battle, the evidences of many brutal attacks.
The enlargement, the blood leakage- with every beat,
The hole was quietly seeping out the red fires of life, in secret,
Though outwardly everything still appeared fine.
Sobbing, I pushed the ribs back into place, and wired them together.
I left the room, as the stitching of the ruby flesh was beginning.
One is never prepared to see the wounds one has inflicted upon love.
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