Intima Archives | POETRY



Acoustic Tiles | Carol Smallwood | FALL 2015

Sometimes dreamy dissociation is a patient’s only escape. 

Admission Assessment | Rachel Betesh | FALL 2014

Discovery and recovery: The difficulties of finding the right words to describe an incoming patient's illness.

Apachetas | Lynn Lawrence | FALL 2011

An apacheta is a 'remembering stone' that honors those who have departed.

Aphasia | Jen Karetnick | FALL 2013

Losing the ability to understand speech creates its own kind of language.

The Appointment | Ronald Lands | FALL 2015

A wistful look through the eyes of a caregiver.

A Slice of Strudel | Joan Michelson | SPRING 2016

What does a slice of strudel have in common with an intimate moment and terminal illness?

Beneath a Sycamore: Autism Revisited | Woods Nash | FALL 2013

The organic splendor of nature as seen from a particular point of view.

Borrowed Car | Lisa Kerr | FALL 2015

We drive toward a diagnosis, not always sure where we'll end up.

Breast Unit | Konstantina Georganta | SPRING 2014

Voices surround us, even in nature, when bodies are at war with themselves.

Bypass | Benjamin Drum | Winner, 2013 Intima Essay Contest | SPRING 2014

Inside the operating room: an unexpected tableaux and a reckoning of sorts.

The Caregiver | Kristen Camitta Zimet | FALL 2013

The role of a caregiver goes far beyond taking care of a loved one's physical needs.

Cartographer... | Laurel Jessup | FALL 2012

Life begins and a woman encounters the uncharted territory of a newborn baby.

The Chairs | Karen Loeb | FALL 2013

To vaccinate—or not: Remembering a parent's way of dealing with the decision.

Cisplatin at 11:15 | Joseph Eveld | SPRING 2014

We recognize the contradictions inherent in any kind of treatment, but even more so in cancer care.

Close to the Flowers: Notes from a Tanzanian Orphanage | Woods Nash |           FALL 2013

Nurture the innocent—and watch them blossom.

The Commiphora Myrrah Tree | Wendy French | SPRING2016

A residue of resin remains after a tree is tapped; what's left of us when the inevitable happens?

Comma | L.N. Allen | FALL 2015

A misspelled word leads to a curiously profound reflection.

Cut it Out | Kee MacFarlane | SPRING 2013

A desperate request from a patient for the surgeon to cut her open, in order to make her whole again.

Dances with Pills | Jen Karetnick | FALL 2013

Heal, reveal, conceal: Medication can affect us and our symptoms in so many ways.

Dear Stephanie, It Made Sense | Hannah Baggott | SPRING 2015

Having an illness in common doesn't make you best of friends—or even sympathetic.

Diary of Psychiatric Meds Taken by Patient MS | Marjorie Sadin | FALL 2012

A list of what helped, what didn't—memories of medications and doctors and moments in treatment.

DNR | Amir Adam Tarsha | FALL 2013

A contemplation—about medical choices, before and after death.

Dovetail | Zoe Mays | SPRING 2016

Cancer doesn't make sense. Did you expect it to? 

Drawing Dying Hands | Lauren Catlett | FALL 2014

The art of connection is a sketch in reality.

Dude, the Stage? | Sean J. Mahoney | FALL 2014

Cue applause: A patient is a kind of performance artist on an unfamiliar stage.

E.B. | Amy Caruso Brown | SPRING 2015

How suffering continues to revisit us, no matter how many times we experience it. 

Emergency Department | Stefanie Reiff | SPRING 2015

Sometimes what is witnessed in a hospital is experienced at the most unexpected moments.

Eva Borrisov | Joan Michelson | FALL 2015

Even the traces of past lives eventually vanish. 

The Faithful | Elisabeth McKetta | FALL 2015

A moment of care from a caregiver, questioning who cares.

Fear of Causing Pain | Irene Mathieu | SPRING 2015

The prick of a needle holds a host of emotions and memories.

Fanny (Your Monster) | Sarah Joyce | SPRING 2014

The many triggers of memory stir up complex associations.

The Four Stages of Grief | Kate Steger | FALL 2014

Four stages of cancer. Endless stages of grief. A daughter grapples with her mother’s absence.

The Ghost of You | Rosie Garland | FALL 2013

A friendship lasts, to the finish line and beyond.

The Gurney | Lorri Danzig | FALL 2012

A hospital trip and a journey of illness marked by questioning, pain, and empathy.

Hands | Clare Constance | FALL 2014

Reynaud's syndrome doesn't halt the work of a compassionate caregiver.

Healing Hands | John C. Berens | SPRING 2014

Sometimes a patient sees what a doctor himself cannot see.

I Don't Feel the Same Anymore | Jonathan Meyer | FALL 2012

As a woman grapples with how illness has changed her body, her view of the world and herself changes too

I Kiss You | Tom Whayne | FALL 2013

Illness creates its own kind of intimacy between loved ones.

In the Botanical Garden at Golden Gate Park | Leatha Kendrick | FALL 2013

Confronting mortality—especially a loved one's—comes at unexpected times.

Indigo | Susan Sample | SPRING 2014

A contemplation of the rhythm of water, treatment, and the memory of a father.  

Infectious | Doug Hester | FALL 2014

A change in the season brings its own form of light and enlightenment to our lives.

Intensive Care | Kristen Camitta Zimet | FALL 2013

Every day takes flight in its own way when confronting illness.

The Interpretation | Elle Silver | SPRING 2015

What do we learn from the test data? Much is revealed in the subjectivity of a diagnosis. 

John Forbes Nash. Jr. | Eleanor Levine | FALL 2014

When a beautiful mind meets an ugly illness, brilliance and chaos ensue.

Lamentations of Cancer | Janell Ball | FALL 2012

A poem about a daughter's experience of her mother's brain cancer and the ongoing battle her family faced.

Letter to a 93-year-old Cadaver | Jennifer Stella | SPRING 2014

Revelations about dissection from a doctor who chooses not to distance herself from it.

Limbless | Marilyn Arenas | FALL 2013

A nurse recalls the long painful process that ultimately results in a profound loss.

Line of Beauty | Arlene Weiner | SPRING 2015

Aesthetics of a surgical procedure: what doctors and patients see is often different.

Love Compounded | Mary Oak | SPRING 2016

How cancer spreads with terror everywhere, yet those who experience it are one of many. 

The Man From Sierra Leone | Zach Williamson | SPRING 2013

A case presentation and follow-up recommendations are told through rhyme.

Maroon | Elsa Asher | SPRING 2013

Miscarriage. The word known long before uttered.

Meningioma | Lorri Danzig | FALL 2012

A tumor changes a life in an instant: this poem explores how to process such a powerful diagnosis.

Mi Jardin / My Garden | Emma Rivera | FALL 2011

Nature and its straightforward beauty brings solace in any language.

My Grandpa | Meghan Wang | SPRING 2013

Our memories live with those who love us. 

My Favorite Piece | Jacob L. Freedman | SPRING 2015

Two doctors, twin brothers, and one Brahms' concerto add up to an evocative reflection.

The Nacirema | Joanna White | FALL 2015

The baffling medical rites and customs of an exotic culture

Needle | Sara Backer | FALL 2015

A description of needles in many forms, as they pierce through the various aspects of life.

Ode to Color | Karen George } SPRING 2014

Healing comes in many forms and myriad hues.

Out in the Open | Deborah Gorlin | FALL 2015

A description of a modern surgeon, a "latter day shaman," and his craft. 

Overwhelmed | Kendra Peterson | SPRING 2013

A patient-physician encounter of being presented with difficult news. 

Pathways | Elizabeth Adler | FALL 2015

A touching description of one's person pathway from health to sickness

The Phone | Samantha Greenberg | SPRING 2015

A simple act—like responding to a loved one who is ill—calls up conflicting emotions.

The Physician Bears Witness | Lorenzo R. Sewanan | FALL 2012

A look into the rich inner world of a physician, and its dynamic, ever-changing role, as a patient seeks a cure, an answer, and eventually some humanity

Pink Slip | Samantha Barrow | FALL 2014

Watching the body change at a moment of profound change.

Post-Call | Emily Sorg | SPRING 2014

A return to daily life, post-call, after witnessing a trauma.  

Pre-Elegy for John | Meghan Adler | FALL 2014

Grief poems are a way to say good-bye, especially when one can record the memories, like this poet did during a loved one's years of living with Parkinson's.

The Price of A Cure | Wendy French | SPRING 2015

Hunger, deconstructed: When there is a full menu of options but nothing on our plates

Procurement | Doug Hester | FALL 2014

Nature lives and breathes outside and inside the OR.

Rehab | Tom Whayne | FALL 2013

All of the paraphernalia of recovery may not equip us for the changes that occur.

Room 915 | Emily Yuan | SRING 2013

A hospitalized man reveals what's hidden beneath his off-putting exterior.

Signing the Order | Virginia Boudreau | SPRING 2016

A graceful account of the difficulty of end of life conversations.

Six Ways of Looking at a Friend | Thomas Nguyen | SPRING 2016

There is more than one way to perceive a struggle.

Speed Dating by Type | Doug Hester SPRING 2015

Blood group systems and red blood cells, reimagine

SurvivorsSusan Kaplan | SPRING 2013

A mother reflects upon her premature twins.

There is a Dreadful Hell Within Me | Wendy French | SPRING 2016

A line from a long-ago poet prompts a meditation on madness.

Three Months... | Lynn Pattison | SPRING 2016

Three months as a beginning of something or the end of something greater than what came before?

Thinner | Lauren Catlett | FALL 2015

Illness transforms the body; our memories strike us when we see what it does.

The Waiting | Dorothy Woodman | SPRING 2013

We have all been there, in that room,  not fully understanding why.

Want/Change | Caroline Randall Williams | FALL 2011

Nature and the cycle of the seasons open our eyes to endings and beginnings.

Washing with Alzheimer's | Christine Nichols | FALL 2014

The learning curve of illness extends to our day-to-day rituals

What Do the Dying Want? | Sara Baker | SPRING 2015

Time presents us with many questions we struggle to answer. This one may be the hardest.

When He Found Out | Jennifer Adaeze Anyaegbunam | FALL 2011

Parents may not share the news about a death in the family, but that can make the telling more charged.

Writing Elegies Like Robert Hass | Jenny Qi | FALL 2015

Memory's power in the face of grief.

Zodiac | VyVy Trinh | SPRING 2013

The stars have written many stories. Some endings are harder to see.