Data Point

March 4, 2014

Three years deep in despair, he’s swallowed every pill I prescribed...

While reviewing the results of a drug study for treatment-resistant depression

 

Three years deep in despair, he’s swallowed

every pill I prescribed. Refusing ECT,

his family and I convinced him to give

research medication one last shot.

Unblinded data arrived today and glows

on my computer screen, each depressed

patient’s response graphed with a dot,

the experimental molecule clearly beating

placebo, my patient’s outlier point six feet under

the rising line of success, a speck of coal

on a snow-covered field, my mind expanding

the insignificant dot to a skull’s eye socket

staring me down like a Beretta’s bullet hole.