Look Into My Eyes

March 1, 2017

“You’ll just feel a pinch,”

he said.

as clinical as the white starched coat he wore.

 

his eyes a piercing blue

or maybe green

it could have been brown.

 

his gaze never faltered

from his instruments of torture.

 

I tried

I really did;

I tried to avert my gaze

away from the instruments.

 

so I looked into his face

with intensity

as I tried to see

the color of his eyes.

 

“…feel a pinch,”

he had said.

that practiced, clinical voice I’m sure

was now more like a recording to him

than active words

forming on his tongue,

muscles of his lips contracting

and relaxing,

lungs expelling air

to aid the words

to ride on air waves

to my ear.

 

naturally my gaze wandered

to the needle

piercing flesh;

my flesh!

 

I gritted my teeth

the needle sank deeper

to find it’s treasure.

 

“there,”

barely whispered.

red, viscous liquid

coated the narrow plastic tube

filling.

 

beads of sweat

formed on my upper lip

as my breath came in short,

sharp gasps.

 

I felt as if I was watching my life

slowly exiting my body

filling the narrow tube

coming to life.

 

he frowned

 

the flow had slowed

the needle shifted

 

no warning preceded

the needle’s search

for more fertile grounds

to give up its riches

 

I wondered if there were no more

clinical words

in his recorded archive

for this

 

I looked away

the walls moved closer.

I readied myself to feel their weight

crushing flesh and bone;

my flesh and bone!

 

defying gravity

the thick red liquid escaped

from vials

and in a slow, upward motion

stained the moving walls.

 

it remained suspended

until,

like an open faucet,

rushed down

to pool at the floor

where it coagulated…

 

“press on this,”

he said.

 

my reality rushed back to me

with gale-like force.

 

with a practiced nonchalance

(that I did not feel)

index and middle finger

applied pressure to the ball of cotton.

 

I looked up to see the back of his coat

its wrinkles formed words

I could not decipher.

 

a plaster to cover the wound

in closing:

“your doctor will call with the results.”

 

I never did see the color of his eyes.

2 Comments

  1. Reply

    Anonymous

    Loved this! One can imagine being in a torture chamber instead of getting your blood taken

    1. Reply

      Karolyn

      Thank you! You’re so right! That’s what it feels like sometimes when the clinician chooses to be so…clinical…and not treat the patient as a person.

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