“I’m seeing two,” she said
so you look into her eyes
for sunny halos, cotton clouds, fog
for hidden scars and roadblocks
for dark nights and grotesque shadows.
“I’m sorry you’re feeling blue”
I suspect diabetes causing these visual losses to accrue
disease is a cytokine storm that lets in
torrential downpours, bone bending winds,
and cascading metabolic waves that flood basements.
Standing in the storm’s eye was she
with nothing left to say, but –
“I don’t require you” to sight
that cannot recognize regret, and
salvage what is left of her cribriform hope.
About this poem: I wrote this poem as a reflection of the experience I had after one of my first solo patient interviews as a second year medical student. After presenting the information to my clinical preceptor, we went back to discuss diabetic retinopathy and neuropathy with our patient.
Bio: Karishma Gupta is a member of the Class of 2017 at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine.