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.
“We kept him alive to let his family say goodbye, / and sometimes that’s the biggest victory.”
Motionless, a man awakes from his stupor of heart. Relief from sharpness, the pooling and swelling.
Red blood flows, red lights flash, / Down the streets of Sarajevo. / I wonder which will win today: / Hermes’ staff or Ares’ spear?
The burning taste / of acid in the throat / is a warning.
Superficial to deep, deep to superficial, / 90 degrees, in and out, / Not too deep, filled with doubt.
Who am I to say that I am an artist? / Itʼs the wanting / the need to express…
You lose / your pen with / the red and blue and black ink
mom, what’s loo-skeem-ya? / oh okay — does that mean I’m loo-skeem-ya?
In the operating room, a man immediately recognized and greeted me / Even though I wore a surgical mask. / His welcoming expression was familiar to me, but I couldn’t pinpoint how I knew him.
I take a deep breath / to calm myself / before walking into the storm / of OR shadowing.