A Breath

A Breath


Breathe in.

Sweet dreams

You will be safe again


Breathe out.

Focus, the slice of a knife

A dimmed screen

A mass of tissue





Heart beats in tandem to whirring machines

A moment of silence.

Is rarely enough


We made you a promise

It was broken

Dashed hopes

You will never be the same again


Wake up!

Questions that will haunt us


This poem is about the discovery of a metastasized cancer in a patient and the subsequent devastation and questioning that occurs. These questions are multi-faceted: questions around our own mortality, the patient’s questions for us, and thoughts of how we could have prevented this.

Molly Gao & Monisha Persaud