Waiting here in the hallway
that connects pods A and B
of the Beutel Student Health Center
I can feel my enlarged heart
galloping. I can see
the tired valves flapping.
I can hear the syncopated
palpitation that worries my
The smoker’s cough of the
triage nurse reminds me
that I am the only one who hears.
I wonder now, in the co-ed
next to me, the khaki man down the hall,
and the Arabic couple whispering to my right,
what secret songs do their bodies sing?
What local disaster are they hiding?
A flood? An eruption? The quiet death
of a poorly constructed machine,
flashing its last convulsive lights?