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Poetry Winners

Echocardiogram

Poetry - First Place

By Leslie Thierman | Posted 7/2/2003

The doctor places electrodes on my chest
like palms on a tabletop at a séance.
Conjures up the apparition of my heart
on the cold leaden screen,
its cadenced thudding and gushing.

The vision is too terrible and too wonderful
not to cry. We all want
to imagine our heart as aglow,
gems and light cached in velvety ventricles.
Rather, a lumpy, fibrous fist,
glugging and slushing.

Yet its chalky ghost on the screen
fills you with a swelling primal
recognition and awe, like
one of Rothko's squares of murky color
hovering, shimmering, incandescing,
pulsating off the canvas.

Many have sobbed before his canvases,
those unknowable dream-hazed squares
swelling and lifting the heart until it
disgorges the oldest love and fear and need
through aching mouth and eyes.

If I pull open this paper robe,
his squares, orange or red, will beam
dully from my chest.

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Poetry Winners archives

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And the winners are... (12/2/2009)
City Paper's 11th annual Fiction and 10th annual Poetry Contest

An Airline Ticket to Romantic Places (12/2/2009)
First Place

What Was Janie Looking At? (12/2/2009)
Second Place

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