I am okay being alone; it’s not hard to do. / For other people, they can’t do it as if they were left scarred anew. / The trick is to keep your mind busy.
Mask on. / Your own protective prison / the air is stale but clean, you hope.
They did not want to disclose that I was dying. Out of respect for my family’s wishes, my cultural values and ultimately myself. But they forgot to respect my right to know, my right to choose which way to go, my right to see tomorrow and the fading of the sunset glow.
Congratulations, you finally made it! / You pushed past when you wanted to quit. / White coat in hand, smile on your face, / I’m sorry to tell you that medicine will put you in your place.
They say to be tough is to have thick skin, but I say to have thick tears. / Skin? It can collect pimples, papercuts, and pus, can be scratched, scraped, and sliced.
Take him to the ICU, / Now. / Trauma, Level 1, coming from just outside of triage.
The doctor motioned to sit, turned a chair / to face the monitor. A perfectly lovely office. / Natural light from the barren window / gathered in circles around my feet.
Blue latex feels slick against / my hands. I grip my instrument tightly, / surprised breath escaping me as / the scalpel quickly reveals
It does not grace your ears, / but you can hear it. / It does not touch your skin, / but you feel its pull. / It can’t be seen or read / but nonetheless, it guides you.
Your body lay on the table, wrapped in shrouds / while robed students gathered around, / Your body lay on the table, skin leathery and strong, / I imagined what stories it bore, what paths it traveled along.
Gloves first, then scalpel blades gathered, / instructor books and an atlas. / What yearning and churning my mind feels, / unsure what learning to expect.
After hours of struggle, noise, / knife and clamp and lung flapping wetly / like a broken bird wing in an open chest, / there is this part, the dismantling.