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Poetry and Medicine
June 22 2011

The Kiss

Author Affiliations

Poetry and Medicine Section Editor: Charlene Breedlove, Associate Editor. Poems may be submitted to jamapoems@jama-archives.org.

Author Affiliation: University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine, Preston Medical Library, Knoxville, Tennessee (djdoyle@utmck.edu).

JAMA. 2011;305(24):2500. doi:10.1001/jama.2011.700

for David

Not the mosaic couple made famous by Klimt,
bodies cleaved close, so thin they could be
construed as one person.
Not the floating lovers Chagall lifted,
praised with brush strokes of color.
But us, seconds before
you were transported to surgery,
our kiss witnessed by a few
who dared not look away.
They still carry the moment like a postcard
purchased at the Louvre, a souvenir
against forgetting what might,
or might not be, the last—our portrait
rendered without an artist, love
sculpted more naked than Rodin's nudes.
How my feet could not feel the ground.
How your heart refused letting go
all that between us shimmered.

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