In the Fifth Chamber Lies the Hour’s End
To fairly allocate irrigation resources, the Persians measured time with water,
sinking a bowl in a larger vessel and tallying the count with pebbles.
And what is time but counting, determining the number of units within a set?
The sum of beats between silences and their diminishing echoes?
Its symbol in the West grew from fig and ivy leaves, while early medical
illustrations depicted pine cone-shaped organs.
In most reptilians, the aorta receives only oxygenated blood.
Qanats pump by gravity. The hagfish’s second resides in its tail.
Recognize the empty as full. Squeezed shut, we open.
Contraction and flow, ejection, inflow, relaxation.
Emotion as electrical impulse. Murmuring valves. The color red.
The fifth chamber remains silent and undetected.
The primitive fish’s chambers are arranged sequentially, but in an S-shape.
Ancients believed arteries transported air through the body.
The Buddhist figure, too, originated in leaves, symbolizing not love
but enlightenment. The ache of failure confounds us.