Querida Aryanna

by Mark Chmiel

At last
After thousands of lectures
Tens of thousands of test questions

Innumerable essays, interviews, rotations
You’re now an M.D.
And in the first week of your residency!

Tell me everything about your day
The other residents you’re getting to know
When you used your mantram and–

Wait a second…
Your days are really long
Instead…

Tell me about your morning
And which patients you saw and–
Hold on, Shimmelstoy

Even a typical morning
(But what is even the meaning now of “typical”?)
Could afterwards be one long blur

Entonces…Tell me about the last two hours
of your shift from yesterday
and how–

Oops, did it again
What am I thinking?
I see I have some major adjustments to make

Joyce could write 700 pages
About a single day in Dublin
(It took him years)

You may think (when you have a second to think)
You could write 70 poems about 12 hours of seeing patients
If you had three months of free time

So forgive me
Estoy loco
(como siempre)

But how about this?
Just tell me of this moment
In which you are breathing

And being
(As only you can)
Satyam, shivam, sundaram

Send me a few words
Of several syllables
Via the U.S. Post Office

In the meantime
If I want to know how you are
I’ll check my heart

You’re always there, Doc
Namaste forever
Marcos

P.S. That photo of you with the camera
Is definitely going to be
Splashed on the cover of my book