I didn’t appreciate the steadiness of the heart until mine
skipped a beat, my body tensing as if to leap to safety
should death become more than mere possibility. But
when my rib cage rattled again and life came flooding
back—problems at work, the longing for sex—I forgot
to answer if the anxiety, the strain, was worth it.
Sometimes my phone lights up and it’s you, texting a
selfie, your smile voluptuous even pixelated, perhaps
interrupting a meeting or the fiftieth email of the day,
and I welcome the shortness of breath, how I hold onto
that flicker of excitement as if suspended by the fingers
above a vast emptiness; I want nothing more than to
savor the thrill, that interlude of falling before the crash…
When the time comes to let go, will you
steady me in your arms as my heart turns to rust?