Journalism in Verse – EST. 2016



in Health/U.S. by

I push IV medication & pupils widen:
breath unlocks like a ratchet from lungs
deflated in respiratory arrest.

Blood vessels spider across skin, jerking
involuntarily as the heart blips its injured
song: nerve & muscle twitch.

I murmur: Get up, don’t be afraid. You
were clinically dead but now you’re awake.
Even if you don’t want to be.



‘It’s all fentanyl’: opioid crisis takes shape in Philadelphia as overdoses surge [The Guardian]
Life expectancy drops again as opioid deaths surge in U.S. [NPR]
Norway’s Parliament votes to decriminalize drug use [The Huffington Post]

Joe Amaral is an East Bay Area native now residing on the central coast of California. He works 48-hour shifts as a paramedic. Joe’s writing has appeared in awesome places like 3Elements Review, Crow Hollow 19, Good Men Project, New Verse News, Rise Up Review and Writers of the Portuguese Diaspora. Joe won the 2014 Ingrid Reti Literary Award.

Photo by Wheeler Cowperthwalte.


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