with each surge of blood with every drawn breath

The normal heart bears
a simple function:
lungs pull in oxygen
passing blood through
freshly filtered
the liquid red velvet
enters the aorta
coursing its way
through the body's
blue tributaries to
replenish and cleanse.

A wounded heart drains
to the mottled scar
accumulates around
the blue-black bruise
with each surge of blood
with every drawn breath
it pulls away oxygen
in vigilance towards
the deadened muscle;

then tissue turns to
knotted stone clogged corridors
of coagulated blood and then
dwindles to thin black threads
and one day everything stops
like this -- it stops --

the scar in faint stillness
lifts like a dark star
while the heart and body
fall to earth
as if death itself
were a joyous release
as if dying
became the heart's
splendid and final wisdom.

[Denise Sweet, 'How the Heart Breaks', from Nitaawichige]

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