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Peter E. Murphy
Author and Funding Information

Correspondence to: Peter E. Murphy, Murphy Writing Seminars, LLC, 18 N Richards Ave, Ventnor, NJ 08406; e-mail: peter@murphywriting.com

Editor's Note: Peter E. Murphy has operated heavy equipment, managed a night club, and driven a cab. He is a recipient of a Poetry Fellowship from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and the author of two books of poems.

Michael Zack, MD, FCCP

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

© 2009 American College of Chest Physicians

Chest. 2009;136(4):1179. doi:10.1378/chest.09-0504
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If I could drop dead right now, I'd be the happiest man alive.
I left my heart in Hartford 35 years ago.
She jumped out of the heated car in an argument
which burst into flame, and I kept driving
for decades before heading back.
I whirl into the Lifespan Hospital and gladhand
throngs of cutting edge surgeons.
I see you, says admissions, bored, dead
slow to the traffic of metaphor which has carried me
to this room for emergencies. Are you smarter
than Miss America? I ask the cardio cutting open my chest.
Did you cheat on your boards? Your wife?
Will you unplug my heart if it's full,
empty it out the window like a tray of ashes?
Keep your legs crossed, he replies, before I add
insult to injury, you stupid sheet. He grunts
to the hallway where he slaps his cell
to his ear and says he's ahead of schedule,
should be somewhere soon. Hospital sued
by 7 foot doctors. Iraqi head seeks arms.
Crack found on governor's daughter.
Trouble is metaphor that won't stop when I turn it off,
that drips like blood on the upholstery of the Impala.
The Hartford Courant fades in the gurney next to me.
Trouble is, I'm fully compatible with dying.




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