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Medical Humanities

The Week After Your Death

Eric Chang

Published March 31, 2019

I tell her my theory
that every birth is
a death in the afterlife,
that her blooming
baby was governor or
mayor and was hailed
with marches and dirges,
guns firing and crowds
bawling as he rattled
his way into her womb.

Silly boy, she says.
There is more beauty
in this world. The spirits
long to become apparent
on this side of paradise,
to condense as the ocean
that envelops
us gut-deep.

I become aware
of her ankles as she
speaks and on the walk
to the call room find a list
of your meds in my
pocket. Directions to somewhere
I can’t remember
scuffed underneath.
I hope where you are
you don’t think that I failed you,
that you don’t think of me.


Eric Chang, PGY-4
UCLA Radiation Oncology
email:ericchang@mednet.ucla.edu

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