the beat in the aorta

“I have reflected many times upon our rigid search. It has shown me that everything is illuminated in the light of the past. It is always along the side of us, on the inside, looking out. Like you say, inside out. Jonathan, in this way, I will always be along the side of your life. And you will always be along the side of mine.”  - Everything Is Illuminated (2005)

thaw

my heart is cold,
the beating aorta now
frosted over.
the valves that opened
are now shut,
held close together
by the icicles that cling
to every part of me,
but most of all my heart.
I’m tired of shivering,
of fighting to stay warm.
i’m tired of thawing out myself
just to ice over once more.

i’m looking for the fire,
the one that burns even
through the night.
the one that is gold,
and red and orange,
and will fight off the cold
before it claims me again.
i’ve searched for years,
for the everburning flame.
perhaps now i’ve found it,
but i’m not yet sure.
because the fire will someday
go out, and leave me cold again.
i can’t find warmth in men
anymore, because everytime
i’m left with ice and ash.

but something inside of me
melts without being touched.
a smile, a word from your lips,
and my skin is warm.
my heart is beating,
once more in my chest.
my body is not shivering,
my soul is getting rest.
you are that fire,
that burns through the night.
welcoming the stranger into
bright light.
i am the stranger,
and you are the inn
where i shall rest myself and
begin to get warm.

here with you i will stay,
for your warmth has sent the frost away.

This year I’ve performed CPR, felt an aorta beating in my hands, amputated a leg and made a skin graft to repair someone else’s. I’ve brought another human being into this world, welcomed a nephew and watched as a new mom lost her ability to ever have children again. Lost a love and found myself. Had a summer filled with one adventure after another. Experienced heart break, joy and frustration. Treated someone’s optic neuritis, got my own. Made a sick child giggle, if only for a second. Worked hours upon hours along side amazing physicians and made life long friends. Got pushed to the brink. Cried, laughed, loved and learned. 2014, you were rough, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.