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Poetry and Medicine
March 27, 2002


JAMA. 2002;287(12):1498. doi:10.1001/jama.287.12.1498

Tapioca, cranberry yogurt, apple corn fritters.
Some things come conflicted—but you acquire
a taste for them. This is what I've learned lying
in this hospital bed three weeks. Take a test—
the IV hurts a little. Wait for the results—they are
ambiguous. Maybe do the test again. And the thing is
my doctors all speak without definition. If I could,
I would ordain that might, maybe, and perhaps be expunged.
At least the Irish priest visiting my neighbor
was definitive. He said, heaven is an eternal gift.
Everything here is bittersweet spooned out
in dollops of castor oil with a little saccharin mixed in.

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