Off the Shelf, Poetry Thursdays
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Blood Draw

Unsheathe a hollow spear and spill from ephemeral streams of blue.

Hold it against me only for a moment to let my skin seize against the cold steel.

Instruct me to look away but how could I do so

having seen the enduring pain of those who have come before me?

Grip my wrist tightly and prick me slow.

As the elasticity of my youthful skin gives way to a single red drop,

remind me of crumbled concrete stained with civilian blood

and soils tarnished with iron.

Do not lie to me.

Tell me the sting will never go away.

Author’s note: Since the inception of the Syrian civil war in 2011, the United Nations has verified that at least 350,000 people have been killed in a ten-year span and has cautioned that this number is an “under-count of the actual number of killings.”  

Poetry Thursdays is an initiative that highlights poems by medical students. If you are interested in contributing or would like to learn more, please contact our editors.

Mahmud Alkul Mahmud Alkul (1 Posts)

Contributing Writer

Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine

Mahmud is a fourth year medical student at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Medicine in Lubbock, Texas Class of 2022. In 2018, he graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry. He enjoys traveling, discovering new parks, and drinking cold brew coffee in his free time. In the future, Mahmud would like to pursue a career in dermatology.