Second Cut

1-IMG_1023
36 glistening staples punctuate my belly,
The incision retracing much of the scar.
From my prior liver resection.

Lucky am I to have another operation,
Pregnant with hope and opportunity,
More quality time.

My bowels are frozen,
My abdomen gradually tightening,
Like the skin on a timpani drum,
Over the last six days.

I have reached the tipping point,
No more food can be packed in.

She sits exhausted and anxious
In the cramped emergency room chair,
While I lay in the gurney,
IV drip into the left arm,
My index finger pointing my heartbeat,
Into the monitor.

Waiting for the doctor,
to review the x-rays
With my surgeon.

The levity of narcotics slowly wearing off,
I begin to feel,
The searing pain of my incision,
And the tightness of my belly.

2-IMG_1027I wait anxiously,
Until 4:30 am,
To get all of my medications,
My heart beating
Loud,
Steady,
Strong.

Carpe diem

© 2013 M. Tsai

Puppy Love

1-IMG_3441The cream of the crop
Traveled to the 1979 Congress of Strings
At the University of Washington,
Including the musical genius from Calgary.

We all had scholarships,
For an intensive musical experience
Performing every two weeks at Meany Hall.

All college students except for me,
Heading into my last year of high school.

The camp had an extra spot,
So they asked my violin teacher,
A professor emeritus,
If he could fill it.
He selected me.

For the first concert,
I was assigned to sit
Next to the girl from Oberlin,
Destined to be a concert master.

She was the section leader
Of the second violins,
We shared a stand,
Making rapturous notes together.

Tall and lean,
Her dark wavy hair framed her aquiline nose
And sultry brown eyes,
Her long dexterous fingers moved effortlessly
As she played with fierce intensity.

Drawing me in like a Gypsy Air,
Under her mysterious spell,
I gathered all of my shy
Awkward courage
To ask her out on a date.

As we walked across the warm summer campus,
She told me she had never dated a jock,
But I persisted.

In the evening
We went out to University Ave
I forgot my wallet,
So she paid.

My heart sinking
As we neared the elevator at Haggett Hall,
Reluctantly I said good night.

She stepped toward me and leaned in for my very first kiss,
All was going exceptionally well,
Until she thrust her long alien tongue,
Into my mouth.

Tumbling back on all fours,
Bewildered,
I watched her smiling
As the elevator doors
Closed.

© 2013 M. Tsai