Stress Test

Dress comfortably, but not in last night’s negligee.
Nothing by mouth after midnight: personally,
I don’t really like the taste of nothing. I am reminded
of sawdust, or of certain fiber residues a.k.a. lint
from the dryer. Everything, therefore, should be
permissible. The treadmill will incline in the correct
direction if you can successfully use the word
cardiovascular as a slant rhyme. If you cannot use
your legs, you will be allowed to crank a bicycle with
your arms. If you make the electrodes click to the rhythm
of Tico-Tico, the test results may become unreadable,
or perhaps more readable. This is very serious, I am not joking.
It is important to know the measure of certain things in regard
to the heart: whether the blood, loosed like a caged animal
no longer used to the wild, will be able to return through
corridors narrowed by an abundance of grief and care,
or made dense with neglect; whether it will consent
to lie down in chambers that have grown too small,
their walls opening to looped circuits without end.

3 Replies to “Stress Test”

  1. Beautiful! Yes, the closure of the poem, specially “corridors narrowed by an abundance of grief and care,” just takes my breath away.

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