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Poetry and Medicine
December 11, 2013

Breath

Author Affiliations
  • 1Holden, Massachusetts
 

Copyright 2013 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA. 2013;310(22):2461. doi:10.1001/jama.2013.8100

And, as in uffish thought he stood,/The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,/Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,/And burbled as it came!

Lewis Carroll

PE’s, the doctors say
of your breathless body. Multiple bilateral pulmonary
embolisms.

Such a tongue-luscious sequence of syllables, I want
it to be a made-up phrase, words to sing a story of an unreal
monster vanquished by a vital lad, not
the vessel for the weight of dread that comes
when they say blood clots in the lungs.

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