Chisom Okafor

In which the cardiologist discovers, from electrocardiography, the aetiology of my heart malfunction

Even in the face of this sonogram of the heart,
my distrust falls like shards of false light,
reflected across rippling water
pooled by the wayside.
Like all liquid particles immersed in the bodies,
of their containers and taking the shape of the
hosts, I’m constantly subjected to the agonies
within and outside my body,

which is to say: I am here and not here,
inside this vacuum upon which I am etherized
yet outside its walls.

Hear me out:
the doctor says my right ventricle is all but dead,
by which, I’m sure, he means a metaphor
for preannihilation.

It’s permanently damaged, he says
but you’ll still need your medications in the
noonday sun
and a lover, generous enough
to bear your deadweight at nightfall.

Do you know that your prone heart
may never survive the cataclysmic storms
of the ravaging virus?

But I’m silent in the face of an uprising;
silent in the way of a turbulent sea,
but just before the turbulence.
Silence: a singeing, hissing silence of burning scalp.
Silent, but for the rhythm in my head
and the throbbing in my chest,
which have become a coterie of wild gyrations,
heard as song lyrics-to-self.

Tonight, I’m sightless,
left wandering the wild
in search of woodland music which had
lost its way, somewhere
along the exit pathways
of my orifices.

I’m thinking of the parable
of the singular mustard,
hidden away, like a treasure chest, somewhere
between my cardiac muscles,
and now hardening into an embolic clot.
I’m thinking of the simple rituals
of drowning, as my lover echoes my name,
one final time, from a distance.