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Poetry and Medicine
January 24/31, 2001

Cardioversion

Author Affiliations
 

Poetry and Medicine Section Editor: Charlene Breedlove, Associate Editor.

JAMA. 2001;285(4):383. doi:10.1001/jama.285.4.383

Picture a barbecue grill
you the naked meat
skewered with probes
basted with swabs
trussed for the coals
poised for the heat.
A party crowd gathers.
Only you get boozy
from milky juice in a tube
they squirt in your veins.
You sizzle like steak
when they hit the switch
to send joules beneath
hairy nipples
from sticky pads like
gold stars for good grown-ups.
Your jittery little core
genuflects
in holy terror,
recalls Aztecs who ripped out hearts
that even Zeus's electric bolts
could never zap back on track.
Lucky you, it boots right up
from its idle nap
starts to tap
yo a gangsta rap.
Then you're home
from the cabbage patch
like tired Peter Rabbit,
and it's chamomile tea
and off to bed for your
truant, troubled thumper.

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