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Chris Tusa

(01.01,72 / New Orleans, Louisiana)

Hypochondriac


Maybe it’s Emphysema, a shiny black jewel of phlegm
humming like a clump of bees in my chest.
Perhaps a tumor crawling in the crook of my armpit,
a blood clot opening like a tiny red flower in my brain.

Maybe it’s too early to show up on an X-ray,
a kind of cancerous seed planted deep
in my intestine, something like Leukemia’s ghost
haunting my hollow bones.

The doctor says I’m fine.

But even now, deep in the dark holes of my eyes
I can feel the cataracts spinning their silver webs.
Even now, in the bony cage of my lungs
I can feel the heart attack’s prologue,
the opening words of some prolific pain
like a bird stabbing its incessant beak
into the ripe red meat of my heart.

Submitted: Saturday, June 11, 2005

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  • Con Nie (5/8/2006 12:06:00 AM)

    I know someone who is a hypochondriac and your poem reminded me of them. Good description! Sincerely, Connie Webb (Report) Reply

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