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Poetry and Medicine
October 15, 2003

Morning Light

Author Affiliations

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

JAMA. 2003;290(15):1961. doi:10.1001/jama.290.15.1961

The fly I thought was dead,
mere flotsam on the railing
between my cup and pen,
rubs its bristling legs
like two sticks to start a fire,
and just like that the sun
shoots over the horizon
and through the split trunk
of the cottonwood tree,
illuminates the stained
windows of wings, ignites
domed geodesic eyes
shining like the temple
of the waking mind,
the twin lobes lit as one.
A glint, then gone, the fly
flies off. I take a sip,
put my scribbling pen
to paper, and wait for
incendiary light to curl
the page in flame, gold, blue,
a violet wave to lift
my words on ashen wings
and a sinuous black thread
unravelling into light.