The Patron Saint of Broken Glass

To inhabit disaster is 

To live

With a balloon animal in your chest,

A forced relaxation of the diaphragm.

To live 

As if a train is crashing,

More often than not.

To assume 

this night will not be over any time soon.

There are unspoken rules of this priesthood,

Even when the pain

To close one’s eyes and plead as only a mother knows how

To plead that no windows be replaced

With laceration and scar

Your windshields and picture frames are not safe here

Do you understand?

You are not safe here.



I am buying groceries at the end of the world.

Let me be clear: 

I am not interested in whether the world 

Is actually ending or if I just think it is. 

That comes down to semantics. 

We don’t have much time.

I am buying groceries at the end of the world because 

Living in my body is like reading 

The headline 

“An Asteroid Like That Which Wiped Out the Dinosaurs Will Hit the Earth Tomorrow”

Every morning.

I pause in the aisle, dare I ask, 

Should I splurge for brand name cereal?

New Dreams

I dreamed I coughed up my spine

A V of wild geese broken, scattering the hard cold sky

I kept saying help me

On escalators and up stairs

Trying to hold my back together with open fingers 

Not sure if I would suddenly become paralyzed

I kept yelling help me and yet

Nobody would help me

Author Bio

Maya J. Sorini is a recent graduate of the Narrative Medicine Master’s program at Columbia University. She was raised in Maryland and went to college at Washington U. in St. Louis, where she also spent three years doing clinical trauma surgery research. Poetry allows her to cope with the stress of working in trauma and provides a creative outlet for healing. Her poems have appeared in Tendon Magazine and will be part of a multidisciplinary dance performance in St. Louis with Resilience Dance Company.

Twitter: @mayajsorini


#illness #anxiety #narrative medicine

Image Credits

Courtesy of the author.