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Poetry and Medicine
January 26, 2011

Shared Body

JAMA. 2011;305(4):337. doi:10.1001/jama.2010.1850

Clumsy with panic and fear
I survey her still shape under the sheet.
She is windless terrain now.
Just yesterday
I rode that salty sea,
lounged on that soft grass,
laughed about new territory
found in late night exploration.
Now, my heart pounds for its own sake,
dull and dutiful, slow and merciless.
Does it know the listener is dead?
With her last breath, the room pulsed.
With mine, I swear, it heaved.
Her fixed eyes, my pale face,
we are, both of us, cold and gone.
There is nothing left to grieve.

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