The Pediatric Cardiothoracic Surgery Floor

In all the hallways: Glossy shots
….. and capsule narratives
of Rachel, Kasim, Hailey, Mo,
….. the ones who got to live.

They never put up posters, do they,
….. of the ones they couldn’t save?
Naomi, Hunter, Mickey, Julie,
….. whose hearts were just as “brave”

until a seismographic
….. zigzag ECG
buckled the ribcage, tumbled the heart
….. headlong into the sea,

a dozen whitecoats clustered bedside
….. or trooping up the stairs,
the mother sobbing on her phone
….. assured and ushered clear

while a panicked student, or panicked intern,
….. two fingertips on Kyle’s chest
compressed, compressed, compressed, compressed,
….. compressed, compressed, compressed

Amit Majmudar

Amit Majmudar

Amit Majmudar is the author of five critically-acclaimed novels, four collections of award-winning poetry, a book for younger readers, and a translation of the Bhagavad-Gita with commentary. Three new books are forthcoming in 2023: a memoir (Twin A, with Slant Books), a book of essays (Black Avatar and Other Essays, with Acre Books), and a three-volume retelling of the Mahabharata (with Penguin India). The former first Poet Laureate of Ohio as well as a diagnostic and nuclear radiologist, he lives in Westerville, Ohio, with his wife and three children.
Amit Majmudar

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Author: Amit Majmudar

Amit Majmudar is the author of five critically-acclaimed novels, four collections of award-winning poetry, a book for younger readers, and a translation of the Bhagavad-Gita with commentary. Three new books are forthcoming in 2023: a memoir (Twin A, with Slant Books), a book of essays (Black Avatar and Other Essays, with Acre Books), and a three-volume retelling of the Mahabharata (with Penguin India). The former first Poet Laureate of Ohio as well as a diagnostic and nuclear radiologist, he lives in Westerville, Ohio, with his wife and three children.