Searching for a Heartbeat
by Peter Dabbene

Like old men lingering
With metal detectors in the sand
Fighting the ocean’s refrain
__Listening for signs of hidden treasure

We are living with suspicions but no proof
Except nausea, a sense that something’s off
And a calendar, not always to be trusted
__So we have arrived:

____cold metal hovers
__her warm and worried belly
________ touches
____and we are silent

After long minutes listening,
Above amplified white noise
__Come his words of consolation:

“It’s still early”
“Next time you’ll hear it”

Then, one last try
Resigned, impatient—
__Rapid-fire heartbeat verifying everything

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