Tiberius

He had a pig heart

not the whole heart

but the aorta

(a replacement

when the old one

no longer did the trick)

It would be years until

I saw what that looked like

transparent, white and ghostly -

as far as we at 13 knew

it looked like the inside

of a yellow bus

with the smell of the seats all pleather

and through the windows

a night sky full of

blinking cell towers

and stars

as if we were hurtling 

through space instead of

through Blue Springs, Missouri -

and a celebration on the day

the new leaves on the twiggy trees

grew bigger around than a quarter.

 

We learned history and

the future - did I ever forget

Sally Ride (and the shelter

he gave me, that silent thing I was,

gay like her, with parents

who prayed me away 

for years before realizing

they would miss me,

out in orbit)

the kindness he tried,

sighing, to awaken

in seven "gifted" kids -

seven stupid kids,

or what the T stood for

in James T. Kirk?

Or the pig heart?

What was the future but

a new heart

sutured in between

the present and the end

thrumming with life

as if it had always

been there?

This poem is about: 
Me
My community
Poetry Terms Demonstrated: 

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