Robert Hollingsworth

Robert Hollingsworth is a struggling medical student who daily contemplates running away to New Zealand to raise sheep and write poetry.


“…any mans death diminishes me, because I am involved in Mankinde…”

John Donne


The blank page beckons like the first cut with the scalpel—

tremulous, uncertain, unknown.

How does one eulogize the unknown?


We walked in silent that first day—

death replaced—diluted with chemicals

sterilized and fixed, but still present.


I caught myself resting my hand on the table.

Your table.

Ashamed of my casualness, I withdrew it.

There is comfort in the dead—comfort in you, Daisy,

as I hold your hand, with fingernails vivid pink.

I did not know you, not even your name, but I knew

your sacrifice for science—in vitro resurrection.

Your life after death.


I mine for rubies of coagulated blood—

deep, muddy red. They cover my gloved hand.

I take you with me when I leave—on my clothes—

your sanguine life force, condensed

Given up. No more. Reborn.


I see you everywhere.

At the grocer’s

and coffee shops

in my mother.

It is your organs I envision,

My first patient—my only patient.


I hold your heart up—pick your life apart,

the background you never knew—


the source of your love, the object of mine

my love of science heightened by your gift.


I am in love with a compete stranger, not complete,

I know part of you. The carnal half.


I wonder: what did you love?


photo by: nimishgogri