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MRI

Ron Charach


        Nothing left , no more futuristic tests
        to light up a world of misfiring sensation
        and surprisingly lasting pain


In the MRI waiting room, gown pants and booties,
a small-town long-hair returns from the test,
"It was nothin' —" he brags, " — like bein' inside a Pink Floyd CD."
But the elderly lady said,
"Those MRI's are the worst."

Questioned for rings, watch,
recent operations' clips, pacemakers —
I'm rollered into a cool-white plastic chamber,
a huge laundromat dryer, wind tunnel
with only a few inches'
clearance for face, trunk and arms,
claustrophobia,
premature burial.
I await the draw of The Magnets,
their Holstian 50,000 times stronger than gravity
to line up all my hydrogen atoms,
bombard me with radio frequencies
and scan every change.
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
photos as perfect, as cadaverous
as those in the Atlas of Anatomy.

I wear earphones.
Already I've known the CT Scan,
its crazed drumbeats followed by
ten thousand pounds of hamburger grinding.

The technician warned:
"You'll hear knocking noises, then a drilling sound
that will last one to four minutes.
There will be knocks like premonitions,
then an electroshock vibrando will shake you to your core
and redefine 'heart-throb', 'incessant' and 'compelling'.
You'll breathe at ever-higher volumes
without daring to move, waiting for the
hovering craft to leave.
Think of your body as a tooth
encountering a five-story drill.
Think of this as your biggest-ever brush
with high tech."

After the longest minutes life offers,
I vow to refuse the next fifteen.
Yet when they wheel me out
and ask "Howya doing?"
I answer, "Nothin' beats it."



Ron Charach's works copyright © to the author.


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