I take it for granted. Except when it skips, like an old record player.
My grandpa thinks his heart will only beat so many times, as though
the heart is a battery, or an old silver pocket watch that ticks to a
stop one day while he’s trimming the roses. The hummingbird’s
heart beats more than a thousand times a minute. Their hearts are
lighter than pennies, unlike the giraffe’s, whose weighs the same as
my two-year-old daughter, its heart pumping blood up the steep
climb of its neck. I only think about hearts when one stops. The
zebrafish can regenerate its heart. Does it know when beats are
running out like eggs in the refrigerator? The octopus has three,
which seems like a good back-up plan. They say the heart will beat
four billion times if we’re lucky. At the hospital, you said you were
lucky just before you died.
About the Author: January Pearson lives in Southern California with her husband and two daughters. She teaches in the English department at Purdue Global University. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in places such as Notre Dame Review, Atlanta Review, Third Wednesday, Gargoyle Magazine, Pittsburgh Poetry Review, American Journal of Poetry, Watershed Review, and Summerset Review. She was a finalist in Third Wednesday's 2018 annual poetry contest.