She hands me two papers, clumsily stapled together. I ask her for a pen. At first, she acts like she hasn’t heard my question. I’m just another number, another person who was careless enough to show up without a pen. But something in the way I stood there at the counter made her look back. Maybe it was my face, because it usually reminds people of someone familiar. And no matter how much you want to, you can’t ignore someone you know.
She points to a corner, where a cap-less pen lies stranded on a table. I walk over and place my paper next to it. Five boxes, five questions. Five minutes to fill out the form. Continue reading
If you were a book, I would recognize you on a shelf
in a bookstore, among a thousand other books.
I wouldn’t judge you by your cover
or by the horrible art someone else drew on your face. Continue reading
She looked out the window, alarmed by the rattling of the gate. A cloud of dust edged towards the trees. The branches swayed apprehensively, scaring the birds away from their nests. But the sand kept moving, indifferent to the destruction it brought to her home’s garden. Continue reading
Her daughter is ill. She spent the last four weeks packing clothes for her because the treatment made her too weak to walk.
“They say the operation is risky,” she tells me.
I try to study her face, but the window behind her lets in too much sunlight. She is a talking silhouette. Continue reading
She’s seated in front of me, holding her baby. The clinic is quiet and the child is wide awake.
“He likes you.” She smiles and touches his nose. His eyes don’t blink. He is transfixed by my face, or my white-coat. You can never tell what they’re looking at at this age. Continue reading