Fall 1993 • Vol. XV No. 4 Science, Science Fiction and PoetryOctober 1, 1993 |

The Doctor

Essential hypertension, uncontrolled,Is almost immortality. The pressure Of blood inside the arteries I measure With mercury, reflecting on the soul: Both liquid and a heavy metal, trapped And beautiful—a subtle trembling—cold. I hate to watch my patients growing old. I watch as blood pressures ascend, hearts stop; A cancer dimpling a woman's breast, As if to pull her in, inside herself. On certain days, I want to die myself, Then live forever by a perfect test: My blood shows infinite cholesterol And nothing cures me of my needs, and I've Among my bitter medicines no salve To calm my troubled, trembling soul.

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Essential hypertension, uncontrolled,Is almost immortality. The pressure Of blood inside the arteries I measure With mercury, reflecting on the soul: Both liquid and a heavy metal, trapped And beautiful—a subtle […]

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