In My Exam Room

by Risa Denenberg

$15 US
Chapbook - 29 poemsChapbooks.html

Three-Part Breath

After a cleansing round

of Dirga Pranayama — the three-part

breath — our yoga teacher says,

Pause and trust. There will always be

another inhalation. I try

to meditate on emptiness,

receive the next lungful, ignore

my prattling mind. But instead

I brood over an ailing friend

who gasps for every breath,

gathers morphine and valium

to claim his deliverance

from respiration. He pauses only

long enough to square his affairs.

I hear his whisper

in the studio’s stillness,

Breathing is the last thing

you forget to do.

Table of Contents

The chronically well

In exam room 1


In exam room 3


In exam room 2

In exam room 5

When I'm not thinking about my patients

The night was long with pain

Pain Scale

In exam room 4

Chronic Pain


What pain means to me

Lives of elders

A Plea for Touch

We do not speak of death

I first saw cancer

On the morning of the second day


Lessons for dying

As death approaches

Hours to days

Going first

“Even the gorgeous royal chariots wear out”

“After a long battle”

Three-Part Breath

Elegy on the mourning of my death

About a Lump

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The Lives You Touch Publications

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