5/30 (or 59/365): Hippocrates wept
I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone.
I hope it’s like ten thousand volts
whenever he hears my name
I hope that for each time I held my tongue
his starts and stops and fails
I will not cut for stone, even for patients in whom the disease is manifest; I will leave this operation to be performed by practitioners, specialists in this art
When someone gives him the third
and the fourth and the fifth––chance
I want him to remember
the last time we talked, the smile
melting off my face when I put the pieces together
Because I can forgive him, sure
In every house where I come I will enter only for the good of my patients, keeping myself far from all intentional ill-doing and all seduction and especially from the pleasures of love with women or with men, be they free or slaves.
But there’s something about trying
to un-see what has been seen
that makes un-experiencing
something that much harder
when there’s still salt in the wound
If I keep this oath faithfully, may I enjoy my life and practice my art, respected by all humanity and in all times; but if I swerve from it or violate it, may the reverse be my life.