Mare Nostrum

Angina Pectoris

Angina Pectoris

my heart still beats with the most distant stars

If half my heart is here, doctor,
         the other half is in China
with the army flowing
          towards the Yellow River.
And every morning, doctor,
every morning at sunrise my heart
          is shot in Greece.
And every night, doctor,
when the prisoners are asleep and the infirmary is deserted,
my heart stops at a run-down old house
          in Istanbul.
And then after ten years
all I have to offer my poor people
is this apple in my hand, doctor,
one red apple:
                         my heart.
And that, doctor, that is the reason
for this angina pectoris-
not nicotine, prison, or arteriosclerosis.

I look at the night through the bars,
and despite the weight on my chest
my heart still beats with the most distant stars.

Nazim Hikmet