Iowa Writes

SERENA J. FOX
Two Poems


The Angio

My father lies at the end of my white coat,

witnessing his own angiography. He jokes,

winces occasionally. The techs are reading

Malcolm X. Two vein grafts are


occluded. The internal mammary artery graft

looks good in many different projections. In

this decade, we are redirected towards the

mammary, for our hearts' blood. It


strikes me that my father has no grandchildren.

A patient of mine had his coronaries done for the

third time with a graft from his gastric artery.

Truly, the way to a man's heart...


ha ha... We have bitten of the heart and the

heart is The Tree. The serpent recoils post-op.

Not one of us is ready for the next exposure.

I did not want to

The Angio

My father lies at the end of my white coat,

witnessing his own angiography. He jokes,

winces occasionally. The techs are reading

Malcolm X. Two vein grafts are


occluded. The internal mammary artery graft

looks good in many different projections. In

this decade, we are redirected towards the

mammary, for our hearts' blood. It


strikes me that my father has no grandchildren.

A patient of mine had his coronaries done for the

third time with a graft from his gastric artery.

Truly, the way to a man's heart...


ha ha... We have bitten of the heart and the

heart is The Tree. The serpent recoils post-op.

Not one of us is ready for the next exposure.

I did not want to


bring him here, because I did not want him to

know how easily he fits into my pocket, and

to what lengths I'll go to keep him there. My

father observed the


autopsy of his father, who walked around Miami

for a week with a massive coronary occlusion,

and he can— my fingers at his temples,

holding all I ever need


to be— watch steadily as the

dye, serpentine, drips

down the screen.







Another Drive-by


Drive-by birth— this mother snares a cab,

Shoots up, delivers, leaves her baggage

Back-seat to the world—boy born, tab

Unpaid. The driver hasn't disengaged

The gears. Paramedics cut the cord.

The taxi twitches, swears, then, disappears.

Sirens swaddle them and us in sordid

City night. Small body in arrears

For drugs, drugs lace a smile across a face

Devoid of motherhood, numb to need.

She nearly rolls onto him, takes his place.

We take her in to detox, warm, to feed

A son. Withdrawal fuels a newborn thirst.

Milky, dawn suckles day by dying first.

more

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting iowa-writes@uiowa.edu


SERENA J. FOX

Serena J. Fox is an intensive care physician and consultant in medical ethics and human rights. The Bellevue Hospital ER in NYC and trauma units in DC inspired the poems in her book, Night Shift. She believes deeply that poetry has an essential role in the teaching of care giving. She was a presenter at The Examined Life in Iowa City.

The Examined Life is a three-day conference in April focusing on the links between the science of medicine and the art of writing and sponsored by the University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine.

This page was first displayed
on June 06, 2011

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