Isaac Black: Restoration

Isaac Black: Restoration

Only My Heartbeat


I had no intention of dying, but I knew
everyone died, and my time was near.
I made elaborate preparations, figuring
that my future–whatever that might be–

would depend on the tiniest measurements,
perfect timing. The Egyptians were the wisest,
I can tell you. But only to an extent. I didn’t need
a pyramid, any elaborate costume, trinkets or

rituals– only my heartbeat, a stethoscope, my
mirrors angled just so, a tub of water, and a few
other items I don’t dare mention here. Tip:
Fat people putrefy too fast. No, I didn’t tell

anyone I’d figured it all out, how the next day
after I’d flat-lined I’d be up and around, lifting
barbells, with a better heart, low cholesterol,
blood flowing to my groin like a geyser.

Blood pressure: 120 over 80. There’s not a gray
hair. No, you won’t be reading any boring obituary
about me in the NY Times. Not yet. No dribble about
my Johns Hopkins days, the notoriety, the prizes

or my so called paradigm shift into pseudo-sciences
as I got older. When you see me, you’ll think you’re
seeing my youngest son. But who else can talk about
Hacckel’s doctrine, photosynthesis, or Darwinism

the way I do? Of course, you’ll investigate–DNA,
fingerprints, fiddle-faddle the way T. H. Huxley did
with Owen’s evolutionary template. Sure, esteemed
journalist, I’m only leaving my new, robust tenor

on your voicemail because I’m beyond ecstatic–
like a little boy with his first Tinker Toy. Of course,
when you pick up, you’ll know who this is. But
I’ll be in Cancun or the Fiji Islands, hopefully with

a twenty-something starlet teaching me, but not
about some Neanderthal. Later we can discuss
the Nobel Prize, all that glory. On second thought,
give me a year or two to luxuriate, sow my oats,

be the hunter, hound. You never got this call.



— by Isaac Black



Copyright© 2012, by Isaac Black. All Rights Reserved.

Isaac Black (an MFA graduate of Vermont College), has published
or has work forthcoming in mags like the Beloit Poetry Journal, Callaloo,
and Poetry Quarterly. Founder of a major 501(c) college help organization,
he’s won a number of awards, including poetry fellowships from the NY State
Creative Artists Service Program (CAPS) and NY Foundation of the Arts.



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