Hand’s Absolute Yin Heart Protector Meridian

Jueyin Pericardium Channel of Hand (手厥阴心包经)

Collective rustle preceding
what ruptures. Then smoke, then shattered glass.

And the day was just beginning—
its many layers coming off one by one,

deposited into grey plastic bins rolling
through the machine and its X-ray eyes:

the shoes, the coats and jackets,
the travelers’ embroidered saris,

the babies’ pacifiers and milk sachets,
the folding strollers with fluorescent handles.

Step into the vestibule
with the clear revolving panel to be scanned.

Plant your feet on the shadowed outlines. Raise your hands
and cross them, wrist over wrist, above your head.

You never know.
That tremble beneath the balcony perimeter

around the lounge area? Anger from the liver.
Fear from the kidneys. Grief from the lungs.

You never know.
They said they knew that it was coming, just

not when. The day was just beginning. The heart
is never ready for such shocks.

In the chart of the pericardium meridian,
a branch descends, passing through the diaphragm

to the upper, middle, and lower burners.
In the chart fixed with ancient symbols,

the hand that carries out any action
is one station on the track.

The ordinary heart comes
with a sheath to contain the wildness

of its fires and energies. A myth
is not fiction. You never know

until it comes true. A vest
laced tight around the middle of the chest

explodes itself (children too) and other bodies.
You ache because you never know. You wish

the third eye could open.
Every casualty a point

vibrating its significance. Rupture
after rupture in the sightless narrative of time.

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