I bought myself a stethoscope from Amazon. 9.99 with plastic cuffs and a cold shiny plate I warmed
with my hands. I sat and waited to hear it again, finger buried in the dip of my sternum
to feel the pulse of blood feeding my brain. My heart creaked like a worn hinge
in my chest, thick valves thudding violently, noisily, until they forgot to.
Pins and needles sparkled out each time I skipped a beat, every
minute or so. My fingers were as cold as the chest piece
and as much as I tried to slow my thickening blood
to listen to it properly, my heart continued to
thrash about as if to say: ‘I want out of here’.
A missed heartbeat feels like stepping off
a cliff. A moment in time where you don’t
exist anymore. A dud note. A held breath.
A missed heartbeat feels like
You might be thinking – why the fuck is the font for this poem so small? Is she having a moment?
Wellllllll, for this poem I really wanted to somehow convey the feeling of anxiety, of moving towards a moment that you know is going to happen – i.e. that horrible clicking moment of a loud beat followed by silence – if you’ve experienced having an erratic heart rate. I wanted the poem to start on one full line and to decrease in size until we reach the choppy, almost hyperventilated breaths that I’ve got myself into a bit of a state about before.
But would’cha know, I wrote the whole damn thing and Google Docs misled me into thinking it would all fit. But I imported it into WordPress and boom. Totally messed up formatting.
I wasn’t going to write it again, so instead I sacrificed YOUR overall pleasant experience so that I could shoehorn this into appearing the way I wanted to.
Any feedback always welcome on poems! I had a mad week this week again, so didn’t get the chance to produce a whole Stranger Story, but right now I feel fairly good about this poem. Give me a week and it may be the opposite 🙂