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Richard M. Berlin, MD

Richard M. Berlin, MD

Richard M. Berlin, MD, is Senior Affiliate in Psychiatry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School. His second collection of poems, Secret Wounds, which won the 2010 John Ciardi Poetry Prize, is published by BkMk Press. Email: Richard.Berlin@gmail.com.

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Tears track his leathered face like seawater spilled from a sinking hull...

Looking out at a flat gray sea, I try to imagine the chasms in the ocean’s floor where lava laced with strontium pours...

He smoked trabucos, mild miniatures produced by the Austrian monopoly, but preferred Don Pedros and Reina Cubanos...

The trouble with looking like a God becomes clear after we learn to wear our mask of omnipotence, pretending to know the answers to questions...

His new hip healed in, we’re working on a bluff, talking doctors and health care reform as we shove a new propane tank into place...

Sometimes when proposing a treatment plan, I flash to an image of my patient seated beside me on this orchard bench watching orioles court in May’s sharp sunlight...

Dawn is at five, but I sleep past nine, not caring if I miss a few warblers flying home for summer...

That’s how he’d like to go, he tells me, not by this slow seeding of liver and spine, not with all the tears and long good-byes.

The Big Bad Wolf and Wicked Witch liked to creak the stairs by her bedroom door and wake her from dreams calling, “Daddy!”

I’m driving home from the ER, not ready for sleep, eaten up by memories of my mistakes...

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