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Poetry and Medicine |

Heart

Rebecca Foust
JAMA. 2012;308(17):1720. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.13646.
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Extract

The heart is a fat, titanium Rolex
set to pace each silver second, or
the heart is a filigreed jewel box
that oscillates the light, or
the heart is a thick lump of flesh,
pierced numb by time, or
the heart is one of its arteries,
clogged like a slugged plow, or
the heart is a ladder of flooded locks
whose valves have let go, or
the heart is a lean engine
that roars and races like a Bugatti V8
till it blows, then becomes
an external pump
you drag like a vacuum
from room to tethered room. Or
the heart is less any of these things
than the hot current stream
that makes them hum. Their source
—what powers the pulse—
that, like a small lighthouse,
sometimes winks  yesyesyes
in a corner of this dark screen.

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The American Medical Association is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians. The AMA designates this journal-based CME activity for a maximum of 1 AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM per course. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity. Physicians who complete the CME course and score at least 80% correct on the quiz are eligible for AMA PRA Category 1 CreditTM.
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