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Poetry and Medicine
November 14, 2007

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Author Affiliations

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

JAMA. 2007;298(18):2115. doi:10.1001/jama.298.18.2115

Once it was every twenty-eight days or so,
the monthly cycles,
imperfect circles
returning to bloat you like a full moon.
Now it's always twenty-eight minutes to go
(trading curse for curse)
before the first
radiant warmth overcompensates too soon
along the transcendent menopausal skirt,
where sudden sweats unleash
subtle acts of striptease:
kicking off covers, unbuttoning your shirt—
but only for the murder of some minutes,
perhaps four,
till you're aware
that just as quickly as you were in it,
you're back out of it again, reaching
for your cover
or your lover's
arm, placing it across you like a wing,
protective, warm, until the next thermal turn
has you flushing,
blood rushing
to your face in a blush of slowest burn.