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Pectoriloquy |

Ischemia: For Yuan Hongqi FREE TO VIEW

Changming Yuan, PhD
Author and Funding Information

Editor’s Note: The poet writes, “This is one of the five poems I have written in response to the diagnoses of my heart conditions: an apical HCM.” Changming Yuan, 4-time Pushcart nominee grew up in rural China, holds a PhD in English, and currently works as a free-lance writer-tutor in Vancouver.

Reproduction of this article is prohibited without written permission from the American College of Chest Physicians. See online for more details.


Chest. 2013;143(5):1509. doi:10.1378/chest.12-1479
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Published online

In my line of people, especially on my father’s side
There never seems to have been ample blood
Running within the arteries behind our Chinese chests
No matter how warm-hearted we actually are
As in the case of my father, who used to
Accuse me of being an ill-hearted teenager
My heart muscle is imbalanced
As one side is less infused with blood
Than the other, thus causing palpitation
Short breath, and a strong sense of
Tightness, heaviness or tiredness about life
To diagnose my cardiovascular defection
Neither an echo nor a stress test is needed
For I am keenly aware of my own doomed
Arteries that have been clotted
With too many syllables
Voiced or voiceless
And to make all these sounds flow out of my heart
Is already stressful enough
Nevertheless, I will keep pumping out these words
Be they ever so blood-soaked


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