The sun goes down and I become nauseous like I
do most nights. I wonder if I’ve always hated the
dark so much, or if this feeling is a remnant of That Summer.

I laugh about it now. Time has changed so many
things. I minimize the memory until it is an ugly
anecdote in an otherwise peaceful existence.

I turn my attention to better things.
I get up early. I am active and busy and social.
At midnight I am too exhausted to sleep,
and I wonder who all of this is really for.

Spring air carries old pain into my consciousness.
I hide my face and cry in my professor’s office.
He says, ‘look how far you’ve come,’ but he doesn’t know.

I visit the school therapist. A man with dark hair
tells me that shame develops around secrecy.
I can’t look him in the eyes.

When no one is home, I stand naked in front of the mirror
in the dim light of my desk lamp.
I wish I knew what I looked like. I wonder if I’ll ever know.

About the Creators:

Poet: Samantha Swartz is an M2 at the Carver College of Medicine. She loves travel, cooking, and sunshine. Her favorite medium to create is writing.

Illustrator: Arshi Munjal is a D1 at the University of Iowa College of Dentistry. She enjoys barre, the outdoors, and learning new things. Her favorite medium is watercolor.

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