I walked with them for miles

Listening to their stories

Till I realized that they were just lost souls

At that moment of clarity

I saw them disappear into the fog

The fog of illusions

Illusions of love and happiness and hope and God

I stopped and let them go ahead

I had reached my destination

I closed my eyes and reached out to grab Nirvana

But nothing

I open my eyes and realized

That the illusion of clarity was gone

And I was just as lost as everyone else

But even worse

Now I was all alone


Photograph by Awais Riaz, M.D., Ph.D. taken in Montana in 2013.

Awais Riaz, M.D., Ph.D. is an epileptologist who has been with the University of Utah Department of Neurology since 2004. He claims that the best part of his job is being a small group facilitator for the “Layers of Medicine” course for first- and second-year medical students. When not engaged in clinical work, he enjoys reading, writing and taking pictures.

Rubor Participation:
2020 Photograph, "Pod of Dolphins"
2020 Photograph, "Under the Tail of a Whale", web edition
2019 Poem, "Nirvana"
2013 Poem, "The Savior"
2013 Poem, "Conversation with a Cadaver in the Dissection Hall"