Allison Martin: biopsy

Spring '09 TOC

today i saw my cervix wall
and the little white imperfections
where it is supposed to be salmon pink.
she is giving me a biopsy,
which is a long metal instrument
scraping my cervix wall, which she then taps
into a petri dish the nurse holds
like a dinner plate.
the instrument resembles something like salad tongs.
i breathe, wince, into my discomfort—
she apologizes. “it's OK,” i say.
the moment she finishes
i want to cry long and hard into the white
starchy hospital sheet but the nurse is
finishing my paperwork, saying, “just a sec
and I'll be out of your way.”
“no problem,” i say. i've waited this long.

today my “i” is too small and i know
someone has said this before but today
i am saying it.

leaving, i want to tell someone, and don't
know whom. i want comfort.
a friend comes over and i cook
us dinner. we watch Better Off Dead
exactly what i need. he shows me the work
he's gotten on his backpiece and i
twinge slightly, just slightly, with jealousy.
i'd never want that much ink. that much
of me covered. but right now, it sounds

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