“Could you please hand Eric the needle driver?”
As the scrub tech loaded up that blessed golden tool, I knew that I had just ascended within the realm of surgery. Last week, I had been nothing more than an unusually talkative pair of retractors. Now I had become Eric, the one who can close skin incisions of “very short” to “moderately short” length.
Pressed for time, the report shall be quick to conclude: For eight minutes and forty-six seconds, Mr. Floyd could not breathe with a knee on his neck, and thus met his untimely, unconscionable death.
The world is quarantined, but we have learned to be human again. Rather than tirelessly working or studying, we are forced to engage with one another in meaningful ways. We find novel alternatives to maintain relationships with those who mean the most to us during this daunting time with no foreseeable end.
A rainy day while the sun is out is a bad omen. But every day seems like a bad omen now. I stand by the window at times watching the strange weather passing through. If you look at the right moment, you will see me there with a face that mirrors the solemness of what I look at.
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