Fall 1992 • Vol. XIV No. 4 NonfictionOctober 1, 1992 |

A Case of Mistaken Identities: The Human Body

The first thing I learned was how to grunt—I'd like to learn how to float. SEAMUS HEANEY Since art was informed by something beyond its power, all we could enact was a dance of doubt. DEREK WALCOTT Duermo en mi cama de roca Mi sueño dulce y profundo: Roza una abeja en mi boca Y crece en mi cuerpo el mundo. JOSÉ MARTÍ I remember it clearly, because I heard it while we were trying very hard to cut something out. The surgeon's arms were almost shoulder-deep within the abdominal cavity, and he seemed to struggle against being swallowed up by the gaping incision in the patient. His forehead was lightly beaded with perspiration. My grasp on the retractors kept slipping, because my latex gloves were covered with a thin film of blood. They had told me to feel the spleen and the liver. As I stood on the verge of slipping into blackness myself—I had heard many stories of medical students fainting in the OR—I found myself desperately attaching myself to a sound. I hadn

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The first thing I learned was how to grunt—I'd like to learn how to float. SEAMUS HEANEY Since art was informed by something beyond its power, all we could enact […]

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