My Siren

My Siren


Alex Battaglia, MD

Perm J 2018;22:18-072 [Full Citation]
E-pub: 09/06/2018

This night,
at 4 am in the OR,
an HIV-tainted blade cuts my finger,
and like Ulysses I visit the dead,
life and death
no longer separated.
I close my eyes to ward off the virus,
but apparitions appear
and I see her,
my lost love.
Her eyes more important than blood,
she replaces
the black intestines and retractors.
She calls
and that distant animal inside me
the wild beast with no beliefs,
only sensations.
I am entranced once again,
and she asks
what happened to the deep forest we brought to each other
where we once kissed under
the dark canopy and scarlet macaw
with tucan colors.
Amidst the Amazon fog, silent iguanas and gibbon cries,
she surrounded me,
she, my siren,
my river of possibility.
How can I explain her snapshot death,
how it arrived in a frozen moment
in the depths of Brazil?
I relive how
her voice
her breath
her last glance
an onyx imprint.
I am reluctant
to finish anything
without her,
but like Ulysses I am tied to the mast
of this ship,
I am the captain of this OR,
and must open my eyes
and leave her behind.
I must grow
accustomed to dark viruses,

How to Cite this Article

Battaglia A. My siren. Perm J 2018;22:18-072. DOI:

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