It’s okay to feel in the cadaver lab. It’s what your first patient wanted for you.
The first time I saw a vertebra in medical school was not in anatomy lab. It was on a Thursday afternoon on the playground at Rolling Bends, a low-income housing community in West Atlanta. The smooth, white bony processes poked through the woodchips alongside broken glass and cigarette butts, almost, but not quite, unnoticeable.
The many tables corral him, / All the people surround him, / A trained doctor he is not, / Giving up, he hasn’t thought.
My mind wakes up in the morning / Sweating with facts / Preparing / For the archeological dig.