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Medical Humanities

A Medical Student’s Confessional

Ivana Viani

June 19, 2017

I remember the way dried up dog bones looked
with crusts of charred blood clots and crunched up vessels
with barely anything left inside them.
 
I envision these bones when I remember
that I am a skeletal structure, a groundscraper, a body expected to
keep moving across the aseptic hospital floors.
 
I’d have to turn frequently to look if my despair,
fear and uncertainty left a tarry trail, making it easy to hunt me down
and rub my tired, petrified face in all the things
I yet am not and do not know and cannot do.
 
While patients are dying, he waves the scores of some written exam I
had failed and tells me I am a disgrace.
 
I leave late at night and go home not to sleep
but to replay it all over and over and over again wondering how it was
that I could have been so stupid and flawed.
 
Before the sun is up, I will walk these dogged bones back.
Mine is the face the old men in my care must see upon waking, and it is 
these incapable hands my children need to hold.


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Bio:
 
Ivana Viani is a 4th year medical student at Harvard Medical School. She is the Editor-in-Chief of thirdspace, the school’s student-run journal of literature and the arts. When she is not studying, teaching, conducting research or performing clinical work, Ivana can be found behind her laptop stringing verses. Her poems have been published in Knightscapes, Tuesday Magazine, and The Rising Phoenix Review. 



 

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