April 22, 2009 § 2 Comments
When did they start making lavender gloves,
I wonder as I lie on
the chilly plastic chair-lounge thing.
I bring a wrap after all these times; it
folds around me – thin and woolly wings.
Smiling, the young woman wipes the
crook of my arm with iodine bloody-orange
tracks, sweeping in circles; her touch is sure
and gentle. I always wonder what would happen
if it landed on my clothes and caused a stain.
I wonder too what it is like
to stick and smile and wipe and stick
all day long. To smile and stick and wipe
and smile and stick again. How many times
can she ask the same question with a smile?
Are you allergic to iodine? Squeeze the ball every
five seconds. Do you feel faint? If this was me,
I would last a day, perhaps a week, and then I
would call in. I can’t, I would say, I can’t.
I can’t work here anymore. I just can’t.