He rolls my sleeve up,
his face dour and downcast.
He tells me all about his money problems.
How patients never pay on time
and how he’s always behind the bills
The worst thing I did, he tells me, is start my own practice.
He runs his hand through his hair
and then uses them to pull my shirt away
and slide the stethoscope across my chest.
He asks me what I do for a living
and I tell him.
He nods. That’s good, he says.
You’ll always have a job.
Which makes me laugh.
At least you aren’t a doctor, he tells me.
He puts the needle in my arm
and I watch my blood fill the vile
slowly at first,
and then gushing
so fast I think it will go everywhere,
fill this room, drown us both.
At the end of the appointment,
he puts out his hand and I take it.
He pulls me toward him, hugs me.
He holds on tight and says,
Take care of yourself. Please.
After, I think, what are we looking for?
What right do we have to be happy
after everything we have done
and mostly, to each other?
4 hours ago