Before I go, I have something to say


Now I know it all.
Now I know I know your heart’s

imperfections: left anterior
descending coronary artery

fifty percent occluded,
right one nearly as bad.

Aorta: distal, mild.
Those petechial hemorrhages

on the small and large intestines,
they can’t hide from me now.

I know about that benign
cortical cyst on your right kidney,

the bilateral pulmonary edema.
The M.E. noted that your body

was “well-developed, well-nourished,
consistent with the recorded age

of 48,” yet your intestine
was digesting itself: autolysis.

He and I, we know
your secrets. Even though I was

no longer your wife, he told me
on the phone precisely how you died,

before the toxicology reports
were in. O secretive one,

now I know exactly how much
your heart weighed.

Published in Chest (journal of the American College of Chest Physicians), 2/2012

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