Any butcher will sell you one. Lamb or ox. Human looks much the same. About the size of a clenched fist. The body’s circulatory pump. The heart inclines to the left – two thirds of its mass is on the left side. The heart is not dry; it sits inside a fluid-filled cavity. Nor is it single. There are four chambers, the right and left atriums and the right and left ventricles. The atria are bloody chambers, fastened to the veins that bring blood to the heart. The ventricles, connected to the arteries, carry the blood away from the heart. The right-side chambers are smaller than those on the left. At any given time the chambers of the heart may be found in one of two states: systole, when the cardiac-muscle tissue contracts to push blood out of the chambers, or diastole, when the cardiac muscles relax to let blood into the chambers. This process gives us the numbers we need to take our blood pressure. In my case, 110 (systole) over 65 (diastole). The heart begins to beat at day twenty-two in the womb. It never stops. Until it does.

stem: jeanette winterson
titel: humanity is not a steady-state system
bron: frankissstein, a love story (2019)
mopw: meerstemmige encyclopedie