15 Minute Wait for the Results

October 30, 2007
By Emily Broderick, New Market, MD

Skinny bird legs lying next to mine.
The one rubbing my thigh is tapping
up and down and up and down
because you are nervous about something.
Your finger, the one with the big red plastic ring,
is tapping on the peeling dark veneer rhythmically.
Your other hand is so clammy.
Like a turtleneck on a hot day,
like a wet turtleneck on a humid day.
The salmon colored plastic sticks to my upper arm
in the small space between us on this loveseat,
peeling away from my skin when I shift
with a sticky sound. Ouch.
There's a rip, all jagged with
school bus colored foam poking out.
Your nails are digging in,
as short as they are.

You are so afraid.

My nails are digging in to your hand as well-
I can see the red-lined moons standing out plain as sight.
What was that old saying?
Red sky at night sailor's delight?
Or was it take warning?
Does a moon make the night red?
I ask you out loud, you laugh
this queer little laugh
that isn't a laugh at all.
Not really.
And you say it's the first.
So we should delight and dance together like
we were doing just last week under that tacky disco ball.

The door opens with a creak that reminds me
of an old haunted house. It's all meant to scare.
The doctor walks in - shuffles really - lab coat knocking against his knees.
He's kind looking and old. Like a grandfather. Or uncle. Or something.

He moves past us.
Sits at his desk.
Pulls on his glasses - his eyes look so big.
Pulls out a manila folder.
Opens it.
Turns the page. Again. Again.
Lips his lips.
Takes glasses off - his eyes are small once more.
His chin rests on his folded hands.

"The test was positive."

Your grip tightens, my grip tightens.
Many red moons across our hands.

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