By Kim Garcia
Featured Art: Blue Horse by Susan Mays and Nancy Dick
Sitting on the x-ray dolly, gown fastened front to back,
steel girders propping the tracks of the x-ray cam,
resting in half-dark with a lead blanket
size and weight of a doormat over my belly
while the tech disappears behind the wall
and a light flashes blue and white,
then more waiting, every joint in need
The cam floats over my body.
The tech touches me gently. He’s nearly bald
and pale in his scrubs. I sit up, hearing
a soft popping of cartilage as I swing
my knees over the side. Knee-capped
by nothing. I am so poorly
designed and executed that one might call
this incarnation accidental, unintended.
And against accident, what can I do but keep
So, bless the half-hearted pinging
of the Philips logo saving the screen.
Bless the lead aprons and blankets,
the plastic stretcher board hung
on hooks on the wall, the stacks
of towels and plastic gloves, the cream
and cocoa checkerboard tiles, the tech
with his soft hands in this cheerful wing
that promises nothing
the lame will not walk
the deaf will not hear
but more light
to see our suffering by.
Kim Garcia is the author of The Brighter House (White Pine Press), DRONE (The Backwaters Press), Madonna Magdalene (Turning Point Books), and a chapbook, Tales of the Sisters. Her poems have appeared in Crab Orchard Review, Crazyhorse, and Mississippi Review, and have been featured on The Writer’s Almanac. Recent work appears or is forthcoming in IMAGE, Tupelo Quarterly (winner of the 2019 Broadside Prize), Antioch Review, Summerset Review, Mid-American Review, and Colorado Review. Garcia teaches creative writing at Boston College.