Do Not Touch
by Mirissa D. Price
There is another kind of life form
Unlike other human beings
Coated in freckled skin
A glass frame of amorphous feelings.
There is another kind of skeleton
Not made of calcium stone
Blown by an artisan’s wrinkled hand,
Flawed by a tremor no body owned.
There is a girl walking amongst you
Borne from a union of love and waste
Slowly cracking from within
Her quill trembling for a change.
There is a woman in your presence
Ready to break by the slightest touch
An optical illusion
Of clarity that life is too much.
There is a sculpture on display
A prized art form for the world to see
A skeleton of tattered precision
Made in the image of me.
At the age of ten, Mirissa D. Price of Tucson, Arizona, awoke to a doctor’s rattling prognosis: she would forever remain in a nursing home due to a neurological injury. Today, Mirissa is a 2019 DMD candidate at Harvard School of Dental Medicine with a passion to spread pain-free smiles in the field of pediatric oral and maxillofacial surgery. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology with minors in Chemistry and Leadership Studies from the University of Colorado Denver, where she graduated Summa Cum Laude from the Honors and Leadership Program with the distinction of 2014 Campus and Boettcher Foundation Student Leader of the Year. She further has dental assistant and radiology certification from the Colorado School of Dental Assisting, and practiced as a chairside assistant with Grout Family Dentistry in Littleton, Colorado. With immense support and determination, Mirissa’s childhood prognosis did not define her but motivated her to make a difference, whether through her biomaterials research in nanogel composites at the University of Colorado Denver, her publication in a contemporary cinema evaluation text, her work organizing HSDM’s Give Kids a Smile event, and her leadership in the formation of a nonprofit self-efficacy program for youth, Crafting Yourself. In Mirissa’s eyes, a pain-free smile is not a privilege but a right, and she is honored each day to do her part to “be the change” and spread those pain-free smiles with the world.