Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

Sepsis

Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

Sepsis

Article excerpt

The fog has yet to lift, God, and still the bustle

of buses and garbage trucks. God, I have coveted

sleep. I have wished to find an empty bed

in the hospital while on call. I have placed

my bodily needs first, left nurses to do

what I should have done. And so, the antibiotics

sat on the counter. They sat on the counter

under incandescent lights. No needle was placed

in the woman's arm. No IV was started. It sat there

on the counter waiting. I have coveted sleep, God,

and the toxins I studied in Bacteriology took hold

of Your servant. When the blood flowered

beneath her skin, I shocked her, placed the paddles

on her chest, her dying body convulsing each time.

The antibiotics sat on the counter, and shame

colored my face, the blood pooling in my cheeks

like heat. And outside, the stars continued falling

into place. And the owl kept talking without listening. …

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