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Soliloquy of an Erythrocyte

Hematopoiesis ArticlesA dispirited erythrocyte discovers meaning in shared struggle.


Woe was the fool operating without intentionality
A mere mule for gas, I am a biconcave envelope
Empty of substance and organelles
A pawn in a vaporous game of chess
Alive for 120 days, but have not truly lived one
Red my sheen but a deoxygenated blue is my soul
A bag of hemoglobin, from alveoli to alveoli
I do not sleep, nor eat, nor find joy
I dream of an existence free from vasculature


Micromorsels of mangled meningococci lace my membrane
So quick and brief, in the moment
I don’t know what came over myself
It happened before, hopefully not again
I can’t control the phagocytosis
Engorgement, I swallow with self-disgust


What was that? A shadow of a strep?
Nightmares of Staph aureus circumventing
My reactive oxygen species
Leave me quivering
The memory of his cytotoxicity
A massacre of tissue damage, I lie awake
Replaying in my mind
These intrusions are inescapable, ah!


Von Willebrand, over here micrometers to the left
He never learns, always missing the mark
Driving me crazy, the cascade must be perfect
I must clot, why if not
Something bad will happen
Bleeding is brutal, I am compelled
To clot
I clot here and I clot there
I do not stop for I must clot


These aches again
The spasms in my nucleus
Membranes seem discolored
Cytoplasm flows extra viscously
I feel it, I know it, I am dying
The spleen doesn’t believe me
Dismissing my complaints as ‘in my head’
I am forlorn, dying and forlorn


Born from bone marrow
We are endowed a Tabula Rasa
Shaped by our adversities, we are alike
Enduring in silence is reduction division
The wealth of a blood cell
Is not weighed by their disposition in peace
But by their character in adversity
In poikilocytosis we stand
In unity we thrive