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Poetry and Medicine
September 26, 2007


Author Affiliations

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

JAMA. 2007;298(12):1372. doi:10.1001/jama.298.12.1372
With the transparentmask over her mouth,she could be an astronauttoo sick to fly, the skinfever-red, the too-heavy bonespushing themselvesforward for air.I sit against the wall,so carefully dressedI could disappear.I breathe onlywhen necessary.I stay to lend company,to learn the etiquetteof dying. I stayto see myselfdying (beforeI have to), dyingbut not yet dead.If I can watchthis, I can keep ussafe forever, evenwhen I sojournin space and lie undera mask and breathewith my bones.