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Through a Hollow Tube

Jan Jahner

She carries forward the bundle like a giant fish
vacant eyes above wood-smoked plaid bathrobe
hook me as we unwrap his blue stillness
words swim upstream,
I am swallowed by a wave, standing by admissions, heading out to sea.

I left mine on the rug by her sister, curled in cartoons.
Room Four has a gurney and a chair
Stained, nail-bitten fingers slide through silky dark hair
She starts again, how the cabin was cold,

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Stephenie McKinnon

He came to us leukemic listened carefully said his prayers took his meds showed us his
pictures: wife two kids dog cat baby’s first birthday talked about basketball and God and
anxiety and what it feels like to be hairless and a good patient
He came to us leukemic followed directions read his scriptures took his meds

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Semi-Private Room

Jan Jahner

Sometimes nectar appears
when stories intersect:

I walk into the room 
rearrange the bed-table
and push the pole with its bulging bladder sideways 
for a closer look. 

Her thinness triples the size of the bed
but her father, with his anxious chatter
feels strangely like my own
and her resolve, that tense control
has a familiar edge.

It feels like all the calories she’s ever counted 
and all the sweet things resisted for

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Stacy Nigliazzo

I see myself, always
through a stark looking glass

the fun house view of my own face 
reflected in the eyes of my patients–

tangled in the bleeding strands
that line the gray sclera of the meth addict

drowning in the pooling ink that splits
the swelling pupil of the hemorrhagic stroke

swimming in the antibiotic slather
that blurs the newborn’s first gaze–

my clouded countenance,
ever present–

slipping even through parched flesh

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My Evidence

When I saw dust settling,

the road black and gritty,

and noticed the air
shimmering as it lowered closer to the earth

like a soft blanket suffocating
the damp September

mornings that had morphed seamlessly
into November’s

crowded table
of berries, sweets, and yellow corn,

just before the hospital
phoned to say that Mother had called my name,

familiar syllables

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Reference Range

Veneta Masson

Your tests show
the numbers 73, 90, 119 and 2.5,
the letter A,
the color yellow,
a straight line interrupted by a repeating pattern
of steeples and languid waves,
a gray asymmetrical oval
filled with fine white tracery,
35 seconds,
100 millimeters,

I’m not sure what to make of these.
With the possible exception of II,
which like all Roman numerals
is subject to misinterpretation,
I see no cause

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Redesigning the practice of medicine

Pamela Mitchell

what if we went slowly thoughtfullyabout the business of healing
what if I bowedto you and you to mebefore we touched aching bodies
what if we saidout loudthisis sacred workmight I be madeworthy
what if I blessed your handsand you minebefore we began
repairingdeliveringdressinglistening to
broken bodieshungry souls

would we then returnto the placewhere so long agowe felt called
where we knew for sure thatwe did indeedhave

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