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In a different life, I took scalpel to skin, cut through fibrous layers of muscle and fascia to the very deepest core of our biology, in bodies dead and alive.

I have held a heart in my own hand, felt its indescribable pulsating power. I have witnessed the first cries of a baby being born, and in the next room, heard the last extinguishing breath, the final rattle sigh, as I watched the spirit of death sweep through the spaces between us.

All of it, every singular moment of doctoring was majestic and terrifying somehow all at once, bringing me face to face with how little we know, how hard we try, how fragile we are, as soft as the riverbed veins that glow through our translucent paper skin.

Now I save lives in a different sort of way, wielding the scalpel of deep compassion, love, actually, the CPR of Prozac, breathing life, hope, desire into dead spirits, and watch synapses spark and flicker through hours of witnessing and journeying together.

And all of this, somehow no more or less important than the medicine of poetry, these words that are life too, the stories that hold us through eternal moon-less nights. Whatever allows us to reach across these widening spaces and speak the truth however we can, a knowing that all we have in the end is each other, you and me, my hand reaching for yours, and the love that rescues us.


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