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The Cava
  1. Ioana Baiu
  1. Department of General Surgery, Stanford Hospital and Clinics, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Ioana Baiu, General Surgery, Stanford University, Stanford, CA 94305, USA; ibaiu{at}

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How dark and thin

The blood that swirls from no clear spring.

Salty dew on my forehead, a heavy breath beneath the mask

Irises constricted

Your pulse audibly racing against my heartbeat

Palpable life slipping between the pores of soaked gauze.

Who are you and why now?

Who am I and why here?

Your blood against my flesh like a final cling to human life

A past, but not future.

Anticipated peace as the monitor will soon be silent.

In a millionth of a second, the turmoil of the blood hits my blind hand.

A clamp. A stitch. A sigh. A future.

Ephemeral defeat

Eternal win.

You’ll never know.

I’ll never forget.


  • Contributors I am the sole author.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.