I find myself almost nightly on my walks,
heart walks, following my interior breath
following my long, healing heart full path
back to being a slice of very human flesh,
body in the imaging machine with this line
first up my arm to where the vein was just
too small (an indication of what was then
to follow) they had to go up through my hip
instead to long way to my heart where they
will discover one vein of lung to my heart
blocked and put in two new stents as slowly
the anesthetic wears off and I realize I’m
starting to see the sparkling crescent aura
effect I get as I have one of my migraines
events of pixels filling, flashing in ever more
vivid wondering will I live, will those stents
they’re installing open the blocked vein just
to bring back the breath of daily life heavy
panting, heavy breathing after climbing up
three stories of stairs to sit limp on the couch
to regain breath or getting so tired on walk
I’ve walked almost effortless before now I
sit unable to go on if only my heart allows it,
me to go on at all if I can just get out of this
tomb of a machine, this narrow wedge of this
technology and experience the space, which
is this fractal crescent of my migraine function
shows me I have within me flashing, indelible
light stress pushing me to my flesh-body sense.


James Van Looy has been a fixture in Boston’s poetry venues since the 1970s. He is a member of Cosmic Spelunker Theater and has run poetry workshops for Boston area homeless people at Pine Street Inn and St. Francis House since 1992. Van Looy leads the Labyrinth Creative Movement Workshop, which his Labyrinth titled poems are based on. His work appears weekly in Oddball Magazine.