He apologized for not stopping over sooner,
as he’d promised, to drop off the medication.
Sitting down on the offered bar stool, he slumped
back against the kitchen wall. He just got out
of the hospital, he explained. Couple of back-
to-back heart attacks. Only fifty. And the pain,
he said, hadn’t been all that bad. Intense but brief.
Figured he’d just overdone it at the gym, upping
reps, weight, and time on the elliptical that morning.
He showed me his bruised arms, said it felt
like they shoved a nail through his right wrist.
It was dinnertime. I offered him a slice
of pizza we’d just pulled from the oven,
not wanting to be impolite. Grease glistening
on his lips, I saw myself stitching shut
his arteries with each bite. Another victim,
killed by kindness.