So lightly and invisibly I hardly knew it,

river of blood descending without joy back to the heart
through the frail vein all that time

—the largest of the body—

shredded then dissolved (“obliterated”)
and there was a

sudden seepage into the surrounding tissue

instead of the blood pouring out as you’d expect forever
before a new vein formed

to bypass what was gone like a wide meander

even the smallest flood ends, and the river
goes straight from that point.

But in my case the thin-walled base-ends held

forming an anabranch,
a section that diverts from the main channel,

rejoins it downstream.

Local ones can come from, make small islands in the watercourse
or flow hundreds of miles

like the Bahr el Zeref in the south Sudan

that splits from the Bahr al Jabal of the White Nile,
doesn’t return until Malakal

instead of leaving behind, as it could have

with the blood being old,
a full-fledged oxbow lake, a little blue

scar beside the heart.