rivers of blood / dried / by formaldehyde
He remembered the days / his hands were used / only / to heal, comfort
An addict in detox, again. / Chief complaint of “at his wits’ end” / Manipulation, his malicious game.
Ajoba shuffles across the room towards aji, screaming / ‘Why do you ask the same questions over and over again?’ / ‘Why can’t you just try to remember?’ / ‘I forget’, she replies
The mask on baby’s face / And he knew and didnt know what was going on; / He had blurred vision / And an amnestic cocktail coursing through his veins already
I wrote this poem during my first year as a medical student while learning physiology. I was struck by the concept of human growth mechanisms. I found it fascinating that our organs grow and change in size through such concrete cellular mechanisms. Growth is such a universal and fundamental characteristic to living beings, and I wanted to play with both language and form to contrast a scientific explanation of growth to the emotional growth that occurs when we experience pain or suffering.
I could see the scythe swinging from one eye to another / The Reaper hovered towards my room / Life had left me months ago, when I had first heard the news / Now I knew it would’ve been better, had I not left the womb
“It’s time to wake up boss, please open your eyes. / There’s much work to be done and we’re ready to advise.” / Curiosity propelled me to confront my kooky staff. / One flipped through a dictionary, the other spoke on his behalf.
The cadaver lab speaks for itself. Responding, however, is more difficult. This is a eulogy asks forgiveness for every joke, jab and cringe delivered in medical school’s temporary tombs.
Hunched over in your chair, / Guarding an abscess with apathy, / Your arm is swollen, angry, burning.
From deep below / layers and rings of earth / I feel the vibrations / Pulse
The University of Central Florida College of Medicine is located 20 miles from PULSE nightclub in Orlando, FL. This poem is dedicated to the victims, survivors and their families and to this beautiful community that will forever be #OrlandoStrong.