Even the Kisses Have Changed
The 34 major pharmaceutical corporations that belong to PhRMA together spent more than $120 million lobbying Congress in 2019
In the museum today
policy creeps into everything.
The Brancusi Kiss is
the magical crinkle of limestone hair,
locked arms, unity.
Rodin’s Francesca and Paolo convene
in cool shadows, lighter
than marble has a right to be.
in other times and countries shift
before my eyes.
Art in the days of Big Pharma
is the permanent hug
of lobbyist to lawmaker.
No air between them. No light
just the heavy intimacy of money,
the universal seal
of trust and permission,
an ancient contract
with American proportions and flair.
Real bodies are beholden
to what the market will bear.
"Even the Kisses Have Changed" first appeared in The Healing Muse, vol. 20, no 1
The Healing Muse is the annual journal of literary and visual art published by SUNY Upstate Medical University's Center for Bioethics & Humanities.
See "The Kiss" by Constantin Brancusi.
See "The Kiss" by Auguste Rodin.