Cathy Allman: “My Neighbor’s Bypass”


He told me he was picking out paper plates,
checkered tablecloths, and ribs.
He told me he was defibrillated,
then broken, flesh cut,
and his breastbone cracked, spanned
for repair, his heart exposed.

Outside his wife waited,
while surgeons rerouted,
swish, swash, rhythms re-looped.

Gloved hands
nattered and plucked,
split and unstrung—
from the unsung, unspoken

seeded deep, waiting
the next beat.

Cathy Allman‘s work has appeared widely in literary journals, including California Quarterly (CQ), The Cape Rock, Edison Literary Review, Front Range Review, Green Hills Literary Lantern, Hawaii Pacific Review, Pennsylvania English, Potomac Review, and many others.

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