“A sterile cap and mask” by Julia at the Italian Consolate

Friday, September 13, 2013
5 minutes
The Birth (Poem)
Paul Muldoon

I hate my doctor. He looks at me with dead eyes. He makes me feel cold. He makes me feel small. He makes me feel like I’m a number. He makes me feel like I’m lying when I tell him my stomach aches. It does. It aches. It feels like it’s burning and he says, “here, take these antacids” and I take them, and still, nothing works. I return to him. I tell him my symptoms again. He looks right through me and says “here these are stronger this time” and I take them. Then I return again. I hate him so much. He doesn’t ask how I am. He doesn’t even remember me. He asks if I’m a smoker. “I was here yesterday,” I tell him. “Do you smoke?” He asks again. I tell him my stomach feels like it’s bleeding. Like it’s trying to push out everything. I tell him “you need to help me.” My doctor has one green eye and one blue. I don’t trust him because of that fact alone. When I see him in his office, he feels like a ghost. The whole room feels like a shed. Like a laundry room without insulation. Like a chilly bathroom tile right after you step out of a warm shower.
I want to tell him this. But something keeps me from speaking my mind.