Monday, February 21, 2011


The woman’s toes tap anxiously on the floor,
She is powerless.
Sitting in a chair that jabs into her back.
The buzzing fluorescent lights tensing already tight muscles.
A muted TV flashes in the corner.
Even through her closed eyelids, the harsh light prevents relaxation.

Her fingers begin to tap in time with her impatient toes.
She notices her chipped nail polish.
Begins to pick at it,
Creating a small storm of black flakes.
They fly off,
Faster and faster.
She has to remove it all,
She must get down to the bare nail.

Her head jerks up,
Fearful of being caught.
Terrified of being seen so vulnerable.
Terrified, but her anxiety insists she continue to pick at the stubborn polish.

The woman shifts in her chair, uncomfortable.
She discovers a marginally more comfortable position.

She shifts again,
Convinced there must be a better way to situate herself.
Slouches down,
Ramrod straight spine.
Feet flat on the floor,
Tucked underneath her.
She stops.
Is anyone staring?
Is her discomfort attracting attention?
Settling into the most neutral position she can find,
She resolves to not shift again.

The polish is close to gone.

She checks the area.
Just the man with the army haircut behind the desk.
He has been scribbling in charts for over twenty minutes.
Wait, is that a white coat behind the doors?

Doors that swallowed the bustle,
The chaos, the commotion.
The rushed voices.
Running shoes, squeaking on the fake tile floor.
The large bed,
The bed that almost enveloped his fragile body.
He fit too well.

His body too accustomed.
The white sheets,
Freshly laundered.
Remotes and wires surrounding his head.

A head with hair, so curly and unruly.
The black ringlets a stark contrast against the sheets.
Beautiful hair that casts a dark shadow over his face.
A face she has burned into her memory.

The eyes,
So penetrating.
Ears sticking out at odd angles.
Eyebrows, flat and serious.
A nose centered perfectly above a crooked mouth.
A mouth that enables him to smile.
A smile that can crack her heart in two.

Her toes speed up.
Her brain doesn’t obey orders.
She doesn’t want to consider that possibility.
It’s not a possibility.
The doors,
The doors that wrenched him out of her outstretched arms,
The doors swing open.
They smack into the wall,
Yet are noiseless.
She flinches, sensing the impact.

At tall figure.
A figure in a white coat.
He walks with authority.
Silently, he approaches.
He gives nothing away.

He strides purposefully to her chair.
She tries to disappear into it.
Hiding behind its faded cover,
Letting its sharp edges dig into her body.
His coat collapses around his legs as they bend.
He kneels, ignoring identical rows of chairs ranged around the room

She is fixated by his mouth:
He holds it in a perfectly straight line.
It is a mouth that has delivered the lines she is about to hear an immeasurable number of times.

Her breath catches.
Eyebrows raised in shock.
Words and sentences blend into ambient noise.
Shaking hands move to cover an open mouth,
A gaping hole of surprise.

No comments: