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Poetry and Medicine
October 11, 2006

On the Bubble

Author Affiliations

Poetry and Medicine Section Editor: Charlene Breedlove, Associate Editor. Poems may be submitted to

JAMA. 2006;296(14):1698. doi:10.1001/jama.296.14.1698

As the slow drift of galactic dust
Settles around your thoughts, we see
In this intracranial planetarium
An end to cherished mystery.
So this is real. Can we adjust?
How can a see-through skull keep its decorum?
Or is it all just smoke and ash?
And there—right there!—a blackened coin
Without a date, minted in the Realm of Fear?
May it be a worthless token,
And may the docs bank all the cash
While we have life to burn this time next year.

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