Diagnosis by Tawni Waters

In my dreams last night
an angel told me
my heart was in danger of failing.
I woke up wondering
if he meant my physical heart
or the one you shattered
when you walked away.

He wore a lab coat, my angel.
It almost disguised his wings.
He said a good heart beats
sixty times a minute.
I Googled it. It does.
He said mine only beats thirty.
That seems right.

Half a heart.

Half a me.

That’s all that’s left.
You were the other part.
I wonder how you could choose this



I wonder if you feel it too.
I wonder if some days
you stare at you in the mirror,
noticing half your face is missing.

Your hands slide through my third eye
when I sleep, touching me, and I wonder
if it is really you,
or just my wishful thinking.
I dream more these days, letting
the moon kiss my lips as your imaginary hands
wander the topography of my body.

Always, I have walked a line between
this world
and the next.
Now, without you,
the thing that kept me breathing,
I slide off into

somewhere else,

a balloon


of her mooring.

Know this: when life forsakes you
angels come.
They listen to your heart with instruments
you’ve never seen before
and drop liquid sunlight into your eyes,
telling you it is magic.

It will heal everything that is broken,

they whisper, smiling
until their freckles shine.

I woke up today believing my angel,
thinking his sundrops had cured me wholly
and I was half-dead

all at once.

About Tawni Waters