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Poetry and Medicine
August 25, 2010


Author Affiliations

Poetry and Medicine Section Editor: Charlene Breedlove, Associate Editor. Poems may be submitted to jamapoems@jama-archives.org.

JAMA. 2010;304(8):834. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.981

I cleave the rind
         in twin sagittal sections
pith and marrow
         spilling through the soft white
of slit flesh and would-be vasculature
         weeping palpably
within my grasp—
         ripe for the needle.
Sixteen-gauge angiocath, intended
         for cases of trauma and severe blood loss—
You should first
         practice on a split orange.
Bevel up—
         angle slightly at thirty-five degrees
                                                   pierce swiftly—