2 Poems – Mirissa Price

Reaching TLC

to hyperventilate without chang-
ing the partial
pressure of carbon dioxide

running through your art –
eries; it can’t be

done, with artificial proxies
defining what it feels

to be an asthmatic –

and the white coats
deafened by stethoscopes
try to say normal isn’t normal;

all the time it takes
to wheeze in expiratory flow –
they don’t understand

how I can hyper-
ventilate without changing

concentrations of gas – they tell me
jargon defining the proportionality be-
tween my alveolus

and my anxiety; in moments when
the J receptors of my lung are me-

all that matters is
I can’t catch my breath


to exhale for spiro-
metry they say

just breathe.


How to Write a Novel


Start so slow, your words
for escape
from the pen you cupped
in your hand


and gently
flicker your dialect
against the curves of


her idea.  Your muse
has long waited.  Begging and
your palm to her blue on
white lines


if only to rupture
with alliteration.  Shock
a sensitive


ear. And wait.
In the moment, you’ll
what she wants


– your reader. Not too
short or stac-
cato in ascent.


If you listen. She’ll
the anaphora.

The doctor said she’d live in a nursing home, confined to a wheelchair, crippled by pain. That was thirteen years ago. Instead, Mirissa D. Price is a Harvard dental student, spreading pain-free smiles, writing through her nights, and, once again, walking through her days.  Follow Mirissa’s writing at https://mirissaprice.wordpress.com/.

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