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Poetry and Medicine
April 14, 2004

Morphine

Author Affiliations
 

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

JAMA. 2004;291(14):1678. doi:10.1001/jama.291.14.1678

My eyes turned feral, made
visitors feel hunted. When I
talked, interlocutors thought
of machine-gun turrets, wolf-children,
and town drunks. I sold grand schemes
to myself, Mad Morphine Dauphin.
I became characters in
stories my mind told my mind. I
softly ceased to exist. The stench
of the hospital, my tube-invaded body.
Cubist quarrels with nurses—none
of this had to do with old
what's-my-name. Morphine
slew ego. I was a parsonage
without a parson, a jukebox mausoleum.
Later I reintroduced myself to
myself. Long time, no see. There
are still hard feelings between us.

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