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Pectoriloquy |

Plexiform Neurofibromas FREE TO VIEW

Brian Michael Murphy, PhD (ABD)
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Editor’s Note: The poet writes: “I wrote the poem to communicate the uncertainty and haunting while living with plexiform neurofibromas. I’ve undergone surgeries to remove them, which have alleviated sharp pain and dull aches, and resulted in numbness and hair loss. I am currently writing a dissertation about time capsules, bomb shelters, and underground film preservation facilities in the United States. I teach courses at Ohio State.”

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


Chest. 2013;144(2):708. doi:10.1378/chest.13-0046
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The surgeries left long roads
where numbness travels
like typhoid in wagon trains.
Last time, I had the fancy stitches
that dissolve inside your skin:
I’m sure they’re sweet as sugar.
Hairs fall out one-by-one
like days from a calendar,
like the man who escaped from behind bars
by cutting off small pieces of himself
and sending them out with the mail,
until all that was left imprisoned was a heart.
Once outside, he reassembled
his bloodless body, and killed again.


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