by Vivian J. Hua*


Beneath our fingertips, your
bruises ripen under lamplight.
We offer you small morsels
of grief – you take
inside your mouth.
You offer us
your wound –
Inside, the soul soaks in silence.
Your body closes.
We, who can offer you
nothing but facilitations
of pain, sit quietly among
the whirring machines.
Meaningless gods, we think
of tombs.

Image from: The Journal of Pain and Symptom Management Jeanne Kerwin: The Art of Suffering: Christina’s Story DOI : 2016.07.010
  • Vivian Hua is a 5th year medical student at Stanford School of Medicine. She is pursuing a career in dermatology and is passionate about the intersection between dermatology and the medical humanities. Email:
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About David Elpern

The Online Journal of Community and Person-Centered Dermatology (OJCPCD) is a free, full text, open-access, online publication that addresses all aspects of skin disease that concern patients, their families, and practitioners. ​It was founded in 2012 by Dr. David J. Elpern, M.D. in Williamstown, MA. with technical help from Inez Tan.

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