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Poetry and Medicine
February 5, 2019

The Body Is the Person

JAMA. 2019;321(5):515. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.13365

The body is the person
who we cannot leave—
made bit by bit
we hope with tenderness,
vulnerable in the womb
and after the first breath,
since an egg accepted a sperm
whether in a coral shower
or a dance of whales,
whether on a mountain or in tidal pools
or in the warm shell of the placenta
where compassion holds the cord that feeds
through the swimming months
and the growing folds,
most still unknown—
Let us have luck
and breathe.

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