this is what you call healing

it’s a setup i can tell. I should have known not to come here. not to come to this entry

it’s a setup
i can tell.
I should have known
not to come here.
not to come
to this entry
where all these ladies—
including me—
wait like objects
in this office
of a doctor’s place.
what’s to stop me from leaving
i argue with myself.
maybe fear
maybe inertia
maybe paralysis
or catatonia.
i don’t leave
I get on with it.
first the blood pressure,
then the weight,
then the sterilized gown
worse than nakedness.
soon she appears.
i must look terrorized.
“Afraid of the white coat?” she asks.
“no. not me,” i lie.
it comes from before, I think,
this feeling like a child
who fears all doctors
and this midwife standing tall
above my exposed limbs
and soon-to-be dilated
private parts.
“Do a Kegel for me,” she says.
“a what?” i ask.
“From when you were pregnant,” she says.
“oh, that.”
i relax & and the speculum pulls apart
my cave of secrets.
this isn’t my style, I think
i almost say.
i close my legs
& she moves to my upper half
to find the lump
& grabs my finger to show me where.
“Here’s one for you,” she says
to put me in my place
for arguing with her
about mammograms.
“Don’t you want to know?” she asks.
i don’t say.
i put my body back together
& pay the bill
& walk into the sunshine.
as soon as i get home
i call to get a second opinion
& a mammogram.

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