The Doctor Gets a Skin Biopsy

by Tabor  Flickenger That’s me burning, that smell A touch of cautery here and here to halt the blood I have wielded the needle and knife Now it’s my turn to receive I wash my hair kneeling In mute supplication Remove the dressing later, as instructed. A little dried blood. Three neat blue sutures. Not so bad. Not so bad. I almost forget with my eyes closed Till my fingers brush the prickly alien patch Worry repressed is not banished But descended, pushed down into the bowels Frayed nerve ending pulse, twist, shudder I work like all is normal. I tell no one. I care for others’ pain and push … Continue reading

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Melanocytic

by Rebecca D. Hamburger A mole appeared on my back a few years ago, in my early twenties. I cannot be sure exactly when as it is only visualized by mirror and neck contortion. It has been evaluated numerous times by a trusted dermatologist as a benign melanocytic nevus, and I was advised to keep a watchful eye on it. The anxiety which surrounds this decidedly harmless lesion, exaggerated in the painting, morphs into a physical symbol of all the other anxieties in my life. The green hills of jealousy toward others’ achievements as I navigate medical school, the flowery pattern symbolizing the positivity and happiness which I often mask … Continue reading

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The Sabre’s Cut

Ian S. Maloney* Her wrinkly hands touch my forehead. She places her glasses on her nose, hung from a chain around her neck. I pull my hair back as the doctor looks at the ghostly blue crease on my head. My mother waits in the seat next to the desk; she clutches her purse and taps her feet. My father waits in the car, smoking and listening to sports radio. “He came back from football camp with it…it just seems to get darker and more pronounced every day since. We thought it was a pinch from the helmet.” “I see.” I remain silent. I keep looking around as the doctor … Continue reading

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