Off the Shelf
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Alive


rivers of blood
dried
by formaldehyde

our gloved fingers
trace the path
they used to flow

the smell of
excitement and
anxiety
diffuses across the lab

we tug, pull,
slice, snip
saw through bone
never realized how
destructive this would be

but we remember
the purpose
of all this breaking down
is building up our knowledge

I look down and
a classmate whispered
our first patient

tattoos
tufts of hair
surgical incisions
wrinkles

pieces of him remain
showing only a snapshot
of seventy years

he teaches
without saying a word

hours pass
daylight wanes
we exit
talk about dinner plans
talk about school
talk about the weekend

life goes on
as we zip the bodies up again
did we already forget
they used to live among
the land of the living?

but I linger behind
I do not want to forget

here is my prayer of gratitude
just to be here
in this moment
alive

Anna Delamerced Anna Delamerced (10 Posts)

Writer-in-Training

Warren Alpert Medical School


Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, Anna Delamerced is a 2nd-year medical student at Brown University, with a background in Public Health and creative writing. As she continues on this journey, she is grateful to learn from teachers and fellow classmates. If you have a story to share, she'd love to hear from you.