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Poetry and Medicine
October 2, 2018


Author Affiliations
  • 1Miami Shores, Florida
JAMA. 2018;320(13):1388. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.8427

From eight until three, she teaches Shakespeare
half-lit, her eye melting wax from the candle,
the flame burning the hole of her pupil.
Her vision is Morse code, spy code, a bar
code, a bush of mosquitoes with Zika,
sluggish, misted from too far with Naled.
A soliloquy of flaws, like Hamlet
the membrane chooses to be or not to be,
detaches an arrow at a time, on pace,
before the shaft’s lasered back into its
quiver. Like crackers broken in packets
but still constrained by shape. Leaded stained glass.
Her eye is the poet; no one else sees
the world around her fall into pieces.

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