Linzy Kirkpatrick, M1, Class of 2023
The iridescent glow of cellophane windows
wraps the building in a blanket of fuchsia and blue,
a playful dance of colors that shift
as I walk past. It’s the first
of many similar days to come.
The corridors whisk me through a
playful maze, a tenuous
barrier between the parents
who wait for news and those of us who
A body (slight and new, and too
incomplete to be broken, his pale skin
assaulted with wires and tubes and
bathed in fluorescent lights which wash out his pink nakedness)
lay supine, a restless sleep and plastic drape
the only vestiges of comfort here. The room is cool,
bubbling with easy laughter
and light conversation
and switches flicked on,
machines primed and whirring
ready to sustain a surrogate circulatory loop,
a false life in an artificial dream. There is cutting–
a practiced routine, choreographed and perfected.
Blades of grace, whirling dervishes. There’s a saw,
and a lingering scent of cauterized tissue. There are
purse strings cinched tight. And then it’s revealed:
red and rhythmic, dancing in his chest, fluid.
The drum beat driving every undulation
within his filmy pericardium.
Bump white. Bump yellow.
The room is cold,
the child is cold. His heart is silent.
The movement is fast as his story is written
in the ice in his chest,
the bovine patch,
the sutures just so.
I feel an electric buzz and nothing can ground me.
And when we both wake from this dreamy bliss,
we are rewired,
rerouted around the fog of our shortcomings
and conscripted to the march of that mechanical pumping:
a lub dub of steps that metronomically marks our pace.