Ablation

by Helen Mort

Inside the Northern General
they’re trying to burn away
a small piece of your heart.

I want to know which bit,
how much
and what it holds.

My questions live
between what doctors call the heart
and what we mean by it,

wide as the gap between brain and mind.
And in our lineage of bypassed hearts
we should be grateful

for the literal. I know my heart
is your heart – good for running,
not much else

and later as you sit up in your borrowed bed
I get the whole thing wrong,
call it oblation. Offering

or sacrifice. As if you’d given something up.
As if their tiny fire was ritual
and we could warm by it.