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I should have been able to predict that

Have you ever felt
To the core of your being
Complete, total freedom?

She leaned her head
On my chest and said
“You’re heart is beating
So fast.”
I put my hand there
It was a drum roll
300 beats per minute

During the next couple of months
When I happened to check
I felt it twice

Mentioned it to a friend
Who recited a three-word string
“Go search on that now.”

I did
I was going to die
Maybe not for ten years
But maybe in ten minutes

I felt more free
Than at any other time
In my life.

If I didn’t have to pay for living
Through my 70s and 80s and 90s
I was rich

I could live frivolously
If only for another decade

Those older years
I’ve lived through with others
Found nothing to recommend them

Now I wasn’t going to have to
It didn’t say stroke
It didn’t say prepare for infirmity
It said
Die.

I felt more free
Than I’d even been aware
It was possible to feel

At a previously scheduled appointment
With my doctor
The cuff said 90 over 60
The steth said
What it always says
The circulatory system
Of a teenager
Not even sending me
For an EKG
It cannot be anything.

Never so disappointed
To receive a clean bill of health

Some people want to feel again
Like they felt on their honeymoon
Or when they made that shot
And got carried off on the team’s shoulders

I want to feel again
like about to be dead

I should have been able
to predict that