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Poetry and Medicine
August 27, 2008


Author Affiliations

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

JAMA. 2008;300(8):881. doi:10.1001/jama.300.8.881

Today she just stares,
and already I tire
of talking for two. Noises
venture into our silence
like timid fish drifting back
to where the stone was thrown
and lies glinting in shallows.
Down the long hallway a cart
wheels, plastic and metal
clatter, muffled with distance.
Above the window the fan is
not engaged, and though the room
stands still as a jar, though August
hunches outside like attic air,
an untraceable breeze nudges
the blades one feeble turn.
An indigo fly, the seventh shade
of the sea, having entered
by some labyrinthian improbable
path—as these windows do
not open, cannot open, sealed
in their simple design—flexes
serifed limbs, then shoots, loops,
pangs against the window,
not blindly, nor yet fully aware,
drawn only by a greater light
dappling beyond this dusty glass.