DIVING IN THE OR | Geoffrey Rubin
Floods the sterile field
As yellow sunlight ripples
And shimmers off the frosty sea
The patient endures an ice-cold sleep
The diver stares into the deep
Blue booties slip onto Danskos
Black fins squawk over bare heels
The scalpel slices sternal
The body pencils vertical
Blood sprinkles the surgical mask
Fog obscures the peripheral glass
Produce a rhythmic breathy
Through the pale skin and bright bone
Organs glisten and glow
Beneath the white-capped surface
A shadow in the dark distance.
Lungs, aorta, diaphragm, pericardium
Encase the beating heart
Puffers, anemones, eels, mollusks
Surround a majestic whale
In bloody watery new worlds
Silent awe envelops everyone
The human heart stops.
The gentle giant glides.
Geoffrey Rubin went to medical school, internal medicine residency and cardiology fellowship at Columbia University. Previous narratives and poems have been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, JAMA Cardiology, Chest, Adelaide, The Healing Muse, and Blood and Thunder.