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Poetry and Medicine
January 1, 2003

For C. F.

JAMA. 2003;289(1):17. doi:10.1001/jama.289.1.17

We begin a different calculus:
the calendar, no longer an addition of days,
but a stealing away that betrays
little gaps—each hour
one hour less
for my arms to bless you close,
for my heart to find its words
from a language that is like some other kind
of speech, a vocabulary of
memory and love
that holds you within
though it cannot hold you here.
So we will stop counting moments
that define only the blink of an eye,
the gentle smile,
the impermanence of shapes
that hide the thing that lasts.

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