I’m reviewing a left ventriculography
from a man with chest pain, MI ruled out,
his wife dead for a post-crash hour.
The scan shows his cardiac apex
bulging with each beat, shaped
like a takotsubo, an octopus trap
a Japanese cardiologist recalled
from his childhood fishing village,
the scan just another broken heart’s
beaten down story of futility and resilience.
And I will say, “I am sorry for your loss,”
explain the image, reassure him
his heart muscle will recover in a week,
all the time wishing I could hug him
with eight strong arms instead of two.
Richard M Berlin
This seems to me to be a love poem from a psychiatrist to his patient, to broken-heartedness.
Takotsubo cardiomyopathy aka ‘broken heart syndrome’ is a real medical condition with physiological symptoms. It is caused by severe stress, and what can be more stressful than the loss of a loved one. Broken heart syndrome can lead to death, and so it is that we can die from a broken heart. Nevertheless, it is usually transient as we adapt to our loss in living, as we resolve the sense of incompleteness in our mind, as we appreciate the timelessness of being and resurrect our hope.
For a reason I am yet able to articulate, this poem provides me with the enormous sense of this ‘thing’ called love, which no one has been able to objectively define yet everyone has hope to experience or has experienced.
There is a grandeur,
that cannot be universally named,
The feeling of being safe and held,
emotionally and psychically;
the reflection in another’s eyes, and
experience of you
with little distortion of the lens,
How would you describe love as you know it, what would it be?
Perhaps there is no need for us to describe our sense of love, it is felt and that is enough. And it is enough to know that we have loved.