Stop; Feel, Now

By Michael Enich

Stop
There, just for a moment
In between snapchats of classmates doing anything but learning during lecture
Pause the frantic flick of your finger from notable note to note to note to note
Hoping knowledge makes goals like paper footballs used to.

No, feel now,
Push away the clamor to read now, think now, study now.
Rip through text now because last night you didn’t have time to get to PCM because you didn’t have time the last night because you were drawing RNA synthesis because the last night- you get it.

Now
Time Too fast paced to let this time hit you.
Stories are good, we like narratives (but poetry’s confusing).
But now our exposition is Km, Kcat, Vmax, T-Test, Z-test. Makes it hard to empathize— whose story line is this anyway?

This is the dream we lost sleep for
Novel future suddenly discernible between hunting for C-Rooms and keeping pace with lecture.
We play med students now, our character both assessed in interviews and built in weekly seminars.
Costumed White coat sleeves just too short for hands that have always been reaching for something more because what he have is here already.

But we have this now.
Can we relish in it?

The answer’s no, spotted with words about exams and whatever else.
That is, until another’s journey hits us across the face with it.

I’ve vaguely been a man of faith—
known, once a while for singing hymns, met my only boyfriend at a church, actually
In first grade I drew myself as a priest when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up.
Now, swinging Serbian incense burner replaced with a pendulous reflex hammer.

I’m not there anymore.
—Mostly not here either—
Don’t feel now in the pews, but do
in other people.
Sacred space of storytelling is prayer I have time for now.

The wonder is how closing the exam room door can open brand new worlds
Locks out the [med school jibber jabber] and leaves you with one person to feel— er, palpate.
Stopping for a moment to ignore the frantic flitter of attendings to patients, residents of the streets of New Brunswick and Hospital alike, students, committee members in the hall.

If made to be in a box we can fill the space with entropy— chaos created by doing, working— but patient rooms will not explode when our gassing hits the walls.

Our energy is noted positive on examination only insofar as it meets theirs.
And if we stop; feel, now they might bless us with it.

Replace the doing with faith in our ignorance,
hope for our innocence,
and love of our neighbor.

In ELH with two mothers, two mutations,
At Clinic with the squish of bowel sounds
or hope of less heroin.

Now.
This is time spent in holy poetry of two other people
25% of stanzas spent here
and we hurry onwards.

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