2.17. Sphincter of Oddi = a weird sphincter

Ampulla of Vater: not Luke's father. Rather, the exciting Y where two ducts converge in a yellow wood and move into the duodenum (small intestine, part I), never to be heard from again.

Angle of His: reads like a typo, possible religious reference, or place where cats hiss and snakes bite. Possible compliment re: his jawline, or the acute angle formed as his esophagus enters his stomach (so hot).

Circle of Willis: not going to say this out loud for fear of Freudian-mispronouncing it, when it's merely a circular arterial complex at the base of the brain.

Duct of Wirsung: this duck ain't flying nowhere, with wind or wing nor song, because it's the pancreatic duct.

Golgi apparatus: sounds Rube Goldbergian, and looks it--tiny, convoluted complexes in the cell involved in transport of protein, etc.

Islets of Langerhans: possible vacation spot (on a drug holiday!), aka part of the pancreas that produces the insulin that keeps most of us nondiabetic and also, alive.

Loop of Henle: a gentle, needs-much-correction U turn made by Asian immigrant mom who will never say "Henry" right or recognize the street sign and hence misses the turn. Part of nephron (kidney basic unit) that transports urine, or what will soon become it.

Natural Killer Cells: special, assassin-like lymphocytes (white blood cells) that are born to pop things with perforin and kill them. Apoptosis (cell death), anyone?

Nodes of Ranvier: what connects us to everyone else in the world, by one to six degrees, including Edgar Allan Poe's raven. Also visualized as gaps in myelin (fatty) sheaths of neurons that allow saltatory conduction (leaping of electrical nerve impulses, not salty action).

Sphincter of Oddi: sounds like YA fantasy (Harry Potter & the Sphincter of Oddi) or bad scifi. Just a weird sphincter that surrounds Ampulla of Vater, in fact.
Seriously, I did not make these up. Not the names, anyway. 


  1. Apoptosis: translucent antagonist to cancer—friends and foes go into that lonely hour of subtle respite.

    1. You must finish the poem to go with this incandescent line, Pos! <3


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