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Monday, April 02, 2018


by Harold Oberman

With all that’s known about human anatomy, you wouldn’t expect doctors to discover a new body part in this day and age. But now, researchers say they’ve done just that: They’ve found a network of fluid-filled spaces in tissue that hadn’t been seen before. These fluid-filled spaces were discovered in connective tissues all over the body, including below the skin’s surface; lining the digestive tract, lungs and urinary systems; and surrounding muscles, according to a new study detailing the findings, published today (March 27) in the journal Scientific Reports. Image source: Getty Images via Scientific American, March 27, 2018.

The hidden waterway beneath our skin
Flows freely.  For the moment
It's an organ unburdened by metaphor, unlike the heart.

Undiscovered rivers in the modern age are rare.
Deep in the Amazon perhaps, hidden from satellites
By tree cover and a murky flow
That mimics the surrounding underbrush,
Banked by birds so exotic they were indexed one time and forgotten,
There is a tributary no one has seen.

It hid in plain sight, the interstitium.
The chemicals used to study the skin
Destroyed it.  Dissected, it collapsed from the weight of its discovery.

Harold Oberman is a lawyer and poet living and writing in Charleston, S.C.