The Season of Disquieting Peace by Sarah Kersey

And so went the springtime.
I lived out of the basement of the hospital
Emergency room for the final week, in x-ray room 2.
The collimator light burned like the impending summer sun
And it wouldn’t go out.
I was the patient that wouldn’t fry:
I’d had too much practice
Under the tech's blow torch of a tongue:
I—immolated, extinguished—
Still. Brown.

First case on Friday was a little barefoot boy, Hispanic.
Gliding in the stretcher as indoor amusement.
He bent his pinky back.
Upon arrival, I set up the cassettes for Mia
Expeditiously, brain ringing like
Notre Dame’s bells by the Parisian bell boy,
As a bent back by some supple, mean switches
Branding me, nerves newly singed
after twinge, after twinge.
Then, the tech questioned; Mia answered.
A cut, then deflection.

Like laser, like shield.
Neither would yield.
He took the exam.
He passed the exam.
The boy rode back,
Away from the attack.

“The floor is dirty, he has no shoes.” Mia expressed experience.
“It’s just a hand, he could’ve walked.” The tech impelled/imperfect efficiency.
In and out, back and forth.
Authority changed hands like the cassettes in mine.
How high is the shelf? What fits where?
Am I here? I’m not hearing this...

When all was finished, the tech was

Mia was

Mia and I continued practicing.
I on the table, patient; Mia positioned.
We were play-techs.
The collimator light burned towards midday.
So, I asked if we should ask her about it.
“I have nothing to say to her.”
I felt esemplastic steam ghosting from the control room:
I sizzled in the emergent calm.

Sarah Kersey resides in New Jersey. She has work that appears in Lipstick Party Magazine, The Sundial Review, Thistle Magazine, and other places. She will (hopefully) become a radiologic technologist. Sarah, like so many others, is anxiously awaiting the release of Star Wars Episode 7, and it is making her SICK. Her personal blog can be found at Links to all of her published work can be accessed there as well.