by Alexandra Rebuck

I am waiting
For a thought—
For clarity pure as water
And sharp as a razor,

To clear from my mind
And eyes,
The bog of a life

Shuffled through dreamily,
Eyes half-lidded
As the somnambulist unseeing,
Treading on a cloud,

Guided by the voices
Of other dreamers still,
Lost in a mirage
Softened by the guise
Of idyllic ignorance

I am waiting
To awaken at last
From that cloud,
That I may seize the world
With hands of flesh
And no longer of phantom bone,

And gasping, clawing and straining,
Bound no longer to the shackled depths,
The weight of water
Shall hold me no more
Within her tempestuous grasp

But rather,
Buoy me to the surface
Of a life I’ve longed
To live,

That in my final hours,
When asked,
‘Who were you?’
I may safely breathe,

I am waiting no more.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: One of my many nicknames while studying abroad was “poet-scientist.” My professor at the time gave me this name once he discovered my love of poetry, and since then the name has really stuck. While I’ve dedicated most of my life to the study of science and medicine, I never truly gave up the passion discovered by a seven-year-old girl many years ago – medicine may be my life, but poetry has always been my soul.¶ Writing has come naturally for me for as long as I can remember – by age seven, I was writing short stories and, shortly thereafter, poems. Sometimes there is a trigger: a word, image, or event will stimulate my creative faculties and send me off on a writing frenzy. At other times, the words simply pop into my head, and I have no choice but to allow myself to be carried off in a whirlwind of thoughts and ideas. ¶ When writing, I admit, I tend not to focus overly much on structure so much as the impact and feel of the words. I want not only to convey a message to the reader with my words (in the case of “The Weight of Water,” for example, what I am waiting for) but also a sense of the emotional appeal of the words (the feeling of desiring more from life, of refusing to settle for the mundane “mirage” that  the “other dreamers” content themselves with).

IMAGE: “Rooms by the Sea” by Edward Hopper (1951).


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Alexandra Rebuck is a first-year medical student at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In her (scant) free time, she enjoys writing poetry and is looking forward to the adoption of her first “fur-baby” Freya, a spunky little Chihuahua-mix with a big personality.