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Poetry and Medicine
September 10, 2014

Livedo Reticularis

Author Affiliations
  • 1Center for Medical Humanities, Compassionate Care, and Bioethics, State University of New York at Stony Brook
JAMA. 2014;312(10):1062. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.5149

In the final stages of shock, his weak
distended heart and stagnant blood
trace continents and archipelagos,
a map across his back and buttocks.

Taught that hearing is the last sense
to hold on, I tell him, Sorry, my friend,
as I tend his wound. My tampering
tears tissue-paper skin, lethargic oozing.

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