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Medical Humanities

for an intern on call in houston

for an intern on call in houston

hundreds of black birds going north

toward the mainland

where you in a windowless

I imagine room are waiting

for something to be born

so you can palpate

and percuss it

or some nine-year-old

to come in flushed

and DKA and gone


maybe a boy kingdom

where it rains insulin

and hails pancreases

on hornytoads, popsicles, war toys and bicycles

his eyes roll

it’s a county hospital

how does it feel

to be recognized

by so many

black birds

Deputy Editor's Note

Rachel Pearson is an MD/PhD student, MS4, at the Institute for the Medical Humanities and the University of Texas Medical Branch. Her research interests are in mental illness narratives and the application of findings in neuroscience to broader notions of personhood and humanity. Rachel’s poetry has appeared in The Mid-American Review, the Windward Review, and elsewhere. She is a recipient of the Academy of American Poets Award from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a student scholar in the John P. McGovern Academy for Oslerian Medicine and a member of the Gold Humanism Honor Society.