Myocardial Infarction

karly smith


Left Ventricle

The only person I like is my sister. She hated me when I was younger. I liked to stand on her friends' toes and point out their pimples. I’m eight years younger than her, but I always wanted to be included. There was never a time you wouldn’t find me in her room, looking through her stuff. I was the one who read her journal and asked Mommy what oral sex was.

We have grown older. I found out what oral sex is. She lets me come and stay with her and her boyfriend, the one Mom doesn’t like.

Whenever I have to write about my favorite artist I always say her.


Aortic Valve

This one time my grandma was really drunk. I was sitting on the couch in the sunroom. The TV was on, Mom sat next to me. Grandma started yelling as usual. I picked up the remote and turned up the volume, already tired of hearing her same old chatter. Then she got in my great-aunt’s face. She pushed her. I stood up, walked to the dining room table and grabbed a chair. I walked the chair over to the corner and sat it down.

Stepping in between my grandma and great-aunt, I told her that was enough. She yelled back. I pulled her over to the chair and sat her down. She sat there all night, glaring at me and holding her cup.

I changed the channel.


Mitral Valve

This summer I went to visit my great-aunt. I hadn’t seen her for 2 years. We sat and chatted for a minute. She told me that the first thing we needed to do was go get my hair straightened and cut. I had it out, curly and free.  I touched my hair, turned to look at my older sister, who only rolled her eyes. Then I told her I was proud of my hair, my curls were looking good that day. She laughed, confused on how I could ever find something so wild beautiful. God gave me these damn curls, woman.


Inferior Vena Cava

I  have two memories of my father. The first when I visited him in a room filled with other children seeing their fathers for the first time. He told my mom he had a surprise for her, pulled up his sleeve to show a tattoo on his bicep saying her name.

He just got married on Saturday, I could see my mom’s name peeking out from under his sleeve in the picture.

The second time was walking through a car dealership on his shoulders. We bought a truck that day, that he later sold for crack.


Pulmonary Valve

My uncle visited my grandma every two years when I was younger. Mom, Sissy, and I would all drive up to see him. He sat in the kitchen talking to my grandma and great-aunt, ignoring my mother. I walked up to him and told him that Mommy said he was a nerd when he was younger, I thought he still looked like one. He glared slightly at me. Mom told me later that he didn’t like kids very much. I didn’t have a full conversation with him till I was 14 and he realized I was literate.



This week my mother asked for my Facebook login. I knew my father blocked her. I told her that she didn’t want to see the wedding pictures, that they were ugly. She said that was good, but she still needed closure. Then she messaged him as if it was me.

Her: I see you got married.

Him: Yes I did I wish you could have been here.

Her: Are you in love?

Him: Is this Carly or Jodi.

Her: Karly (with a K)

Him:I know how to spell your name but just talk text is what spelled it out.

Her: Mom's pretty bummed...

Him: I know I'm sorry to hear that but I told her I was getting married I miss you I want to see you when can we make it happen.

Her: I don't know. You'll have to ask Mom. I've got to go back to class. TTYL.

Him: Love you

My mother clings to the love of my father, more than I have or ever will.

He never messaged me again after this.


Pulmonary Vein

My grandpa died when I was ten. We never really talked that much, I only ever visited every few years. When he died I told mom that he didn’t love me. With her teary eyes she told me that he did, that he was very proud of me.

I’m older now, I know that he loved me. He just wasn’t that good with kids, he had traveled through the entire time my mom and uncle grew up.

I miss him.



KARLY SMITH attends Duke Ellington School of the Arts, in Washington, D.C.. She studies Literary Media and Communications, and has aspirations of becoming a journalist. She has been published in Teen Voices. Her favorite style of writing is journalism.


Discussion of Process