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Poetry and Medicine
June 19, 2018


Author Affiliations
  • 1University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
JAMA. 2018;319(23):2444. doi:10.1001/jama.2017.21352

I convince myself that the rhythmic whir
of the IV pump is the ocean;
pressing my eyes tight, I imagine the sun
above you, though my skin is cold and has been cold
since we arrived, summer clothed, in the ED
so sure we were overreacting.

I peek at your sleeping form, barely
visible now, and my heart picks up—
what about c. diff?
What about infection and the inexplicable adhesions?
Why the creatinine of 1.5 and the dose of dilaudid
and are you still even breathing?