Sunday, August 20, 2017



She’s been complaining for nearly two hours
which is how long we have been waiting
in this packed waiting room
for an MRI.
I’ve lost count of how many MRIs
I have had in the last three years
but here we are,
me trying to not think about
how small that tube is.
You trying not to think
about the cancer coming back

so in a way I guess this is a welcomed distraction.
She keeps getting up from her seat,
her arm hurts,
she wants the IV out
she complains to the people at the desk.
She complains to the people around her,
now getting them all riled up
so they too want to know what the wait is for.
She works for a doctor’s office
she tells everyone.
We shouldn’t have to stand for this.
She raises her fist in solidarity
but then winces and cradles it.

I close my eyes.
I try to breathe.

She gets up wandering
through the double doors
back to the treatment area
and each time she comes in and out
opening the doors
my stomach jumps
thinking it’s the nurse
coming for me.

On the television
in the corner
Trump is yelling about CNN
showing that stupid video
bleating like a goat about himself.

I look away hating the sound of his voice.

I take your hand
lay my head on your shoulder.
You kiss my forehead.
We wait.
She moans.
Trump bleats.

and I think

This is what hell must feel like.

--Ally Malinenko

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