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Pectoriloquy |

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Rachel Squires Bloom, EdD
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Editor’s Note: Rachel Squires Bloom lives and teaches in Quincy, Massachusetts. Two of her poems have received Pushcart nominations. She has a Doctorate of Education. “The newly-minted intern isolates Italy’s rich history and grandeur to anatomical knowledge of what he is seeing, ignoring the broader picture of the contemplation of death. His companion longs to escape this tomb of death and precision.”

Editor’s note for authors of submissions to Pectoriloquy: Poems should not exceed 350 words, should not have been previously published, and should be related to concerns of physicians and medicine. First submissions to the Pectoriloquy Section should be submitted via e-mail to poetrychest@aol.com. Authors of accepted poems will be asked to submit the final version to CHEST Manuscript Central.

—Michael Zack, MD, FCCP

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians (http://www.chestpubs.org/site/misc/reprints.xhtml).


© 2011 American College of Chest Physicians


Chest. 2011;139(1):226. doi:10.1378/chest.10-0011
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A well-planned trip abroad, the doctor thinks.
His map unfolds; he praises his wise self
for giving three whole days to visit Rome.
They reach the church where mute monks live and die.
The walls each hold a treasure chest of bones
like sacred shells. These strange embedded gifts
don’t faze the brown-robed man who holds his thin
grey hand to take the small admission fee.
With pride the doctor rattles off the names
of bones: a rib, a skull, a clavicle,
teeth, patella, femurs, a coccyx here.
His lover drums her fingers on a rail.
Her eyes dart to the clouds beyond the door.


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