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Poetry and Medicine
August 28, 2018


Author Affiliations
  • 1University Hospitals, Cleveland, Ohio
JAMA. 2018;320(8):841. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.4609

A love can lapse;
loosening ties that bind,
widening the gaps
in the sulci of the mind.
We no longer touch,
you’re beyond my grasp.
What remains is a question:
How wide is the cleaved space?
Could I reach out and touch your face?
Or has there been a complete rescission?
Is the chasm too wide?
Will it take a blind running leap,
a flinging of self across a great divide?
Or is it just a synapse,
a nano-slit between fixed dendrites
gone fallow, unfired, the silent nights
of atrophied flesh erringly eulogized?
Who will first awaken, ignite, depolarize
and bathe the array in fluids that seep
into the spaces that get decreed
when our hearts break,
when our fingertips get pricked
and start to bleed?

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