Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Waltzing concord grapes,

rustic beds of basil and phlox,

tomatoes curling to the sun.

Is it a disease to nourish

the soil? To grow life?

The blue jays spot him,

yawning as he waters  

with all of his heart

palpitations, pansies—

Padar, is your heart too big?

The doctor says it’s genetic

like our love for earth,

sown in another land.


Born in New York City and raised in Virginia, Zuhra Malik is an Afghan American poet and civil engineer. Her poems have previously appeared in KAIROS. She has an orchid collection and a Bengal cat named Alpha.