I was felt up by the heart man.
His dangling stethoscope,
brought to attention by his trembling hand.
Its round, flat, cold tip
found the soft palpitation
beneath my blue denim dress.
He pressed, here.
He pressed, there.
(And I gazed inward into my left chamber
and placed a laugh there which confused his science, a little.)
And all because I have a smart mouth.
A mouth that is sometimes red, or pink, or shiny.
A mouth that purses, and drops its coin of Puckish humor,
like when I said when I stopped smoking I stopped writing poetry,
so really, got a light?
He said, so what, take up something else,
like sewing, or, men.
I said, oh, really, I did that, I’m married now.
That’s when he whipped it out, still limp, and snapped
me up to the paper couch, and grabbed at past heart beats,
listening for the memory of heat.
And so I laughed inside at his youth,
‘cause I know a thing or two about hearts, myself.
I turned down the procedure that would kill off
my extra nerve, figuring
I would need it to spark my mouth.
Later, in the car, I lit an American Spirit,
and followed the smoke signals into the Red Road,
and the drums began.
Whitney Vale (MFA in acting) has appeared in numerous stage productions throughout the United States. She has written and performed stand-up comedy, and co-created poetry performance art pieces in Los Angeles. A sampling of her poetry is anthologized in Inside Out: A Gathering of Poets, Tombolo Publishing. She resides in Tucson, AZ, with her husband, two dogs and two cats.
© 2006 Whitney Vale