Barnard Reunion, May 29th 2015
Molly was one of the Barnard Alumnae who wrote poems together in a classroom during the reunion weekend. There were two doctors and a nurse in the room and they were all poets. One wrote about the mind, one about her fears of retirement and one – Molly – wrote about sensation and bravery.
White coat, stethoscope, pen light
“I’m the student.”
The smell of the room is my
Before the history, before the
physical, this olfactory information
is always my beginning.
Fast food, ciggarrettes, spices, alcohol,
cleanliness, dirtiness, sickness, health
I used to find this overwhelming,
bracing myself against air.
“You need to learn to turn off your
sense of smell.”
To do so would be like closing
I inhale. “What brings you in today?”