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Poetry and Medicine
June 26, 2002

Sonnets for Anne

Author Affiliations

Poetry and Medicine Section Editor: Charlene Breedlove, Associate Editor.

JAMA. 2002;287(24):3178. doi:10.1001/jama.287.24.3178

The bang couldn't have been "big." Dimension
didn't exist until after the event
had occurrred; nor, for that matter, did time
exist. Looking back, after a moment
had elapsed, the bang must have been small,
a ping, since ten to the minus ten of space
was all there was. We struggle with scale
in love as well. We think: How ardent the chase!
How deep! How eternal! But I've noticed
our words are sparser than they once were
and quieter. As you sit in the lotus
position, across from my computer,
the photons that dart between us ping,
oblivious to the original Bang.
In the first one hundredth of a second
of the universe's story, the plot
was complete, the climax and the end
entirely written. But the fact is, we're not
able to read it. In the Theory
of Everything, they say there were ten
dimensions then—six collapsed into tiny
nubs, one blew in the whirlwind of time,
and the last three of them invented things—
quasars, nebulae, and planets, which is where
we come in. Your presence, my love, brings
a new dimension into being, a rare
blip of the ancient symmetry—call it "Dance"—
it enlivens space and time and chance.

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