{poem} the night I did not have a heart attack

The night I did not have a heart attack
I really thought I might be dying but
I was trying not to blow things out of proportion or
accidentally be a drama queen.
I felt like one of those people
on those commercials who
say they called 911 just in the nick of time,
but I wasn't when the nick of time was and
after all, it could just be heartburn or
even an anxiety attack and either way
probably nothing serious, I mean
I have good cholesterol and
don’t eat red meat or ever put salt on anything,
so in the end, I took an aspirin and a muscle relaxer
and went to sleep -
but not before making a will
(just in case)
and not before feeling so afraid
for so long
I forgot what courage felt like,
and not before considering that
this is how
the rich stay rich and
the poor end up dead.
And then I lay in bed and wondered
what is so wrong that my own heart
would attack me?
Why would my heart declare war?

The day I did not have a heart attack
I stagnated, a pool of dark deep water
unwilling to reflect the light
unable to see through the murky depths
I wasted time - time I thought I had to burn
time spent on Facebook and
thrashing on Youtube, watching videos
I did not even enjoy and
do not even remember.
I did not write a single word or
text a single friend,
I did not laugh or cry or
feel much of anything at all.
I spent my precious day
my one wild and crazy Monday, 
the last day of the last November 2015 will ever see,
avoiding the things I love to do by
doing things that numbed me to how much it hurt
to avoid the things I love to do.

And then I dared to wonder
why
my heart
might flutter in her cage?

The night I did not have a heart attack
I went for a walk for the first time in years,
holding hands with my wife and talking
about Christmas lights and stars and love and
I knew in those long, terrifying moments,
while death breathed down my neck,
that everything would change, that
it is time to give my heart a reason to keep beating,
to begin peace talks with myself and with the Goddess,
to make love to my life and
write inconvenient poetry at 3am and
go to the ocean more often and
talk more with my son,
to spend more time with my wife and
text my loved ones every time I think of them,
to relish in the purr of my cat,
to never go to sleep angry,
hug as many people as possible every day,
to breathe deeply and sing loudly,
to laugh long and hard and unashamed,
to weep at the beauty and the majesty of this world,
to approach myself with compassion and to
listen
really listen
for really real
to my heart
because the night I did not have a heart attack -
I did not die and
what not dying of a heart attack taught me
is how very much I want to live.