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Poetry and Medicine
May 26, 1999

Detroit angel of mercy

Author Affiliations

Edited by Charlene Breedlove, Associate Editor.

JAMA. 1999;281(20):1874. doi:10.1001/jama.281.20.1874

Just before he died from God knows what—
what, in light of suffering, bills—he bought a red car
you could only describe as a bottle
of Tabasco sauce motivated by two
wheels and an afterburner. He fired it up
and was arrested twice trying to cram
a life into two months and two bodies
into one seat. Toward the end
when he couldn't get out of bed to whiz,
he looked out the window and saw it pawing
the ground, snorting fire at the air vents,
and he closed his eyes and said, This is living.

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