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Doctor’s Office First Week in This Country

ISSUE:  Summer 2017


it’s procedure to inspect 
the ass of an immigrant kid

undress put this gown on
the doctor will be here soon

that first day after Sonoran Desert
I showered for hours when we got to parents’ apartment

Father showed me the way to turn the knob that first day
how things worked

I hadn’t seen him since I was one 
I didn’t know him know him

this is how you make your pee-pee grow he said so it’s bigger so it’s the biggest 
he said sometime that first month or that first year 
pull I did 
do it now 
you’re young it will work he said

did anything happen the doctor asked in front of my parents 
then alone 
did anything happen along the way in Spanish 
all of this in Spanish 
starting with es procedimiento

this is how you get hot water 
twist then pull

I’d never used a sponge 
soap-bar and hand was enough back there next to a well

I’d never seen a “shower” 
parents said it that way in English chá-uer

that first “shower”
my dirt drew a dark rim around the linoleum

you will hear from us next week
I came back for all the necessary shots

I grew up across the street from a clinic 
every kid cried

I came back I got shot I didn’t cry

I kept turning the wrong knob 
even after Dad showed me

then Mom showed me 
then we showered together

to make me comfortable with my own body again
with theirs
with anyone’s

it burned that first time
my skin
hot water
nothing happened

it burned 
I’m sure 
seguro que
nada pasó



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Sally C's picture
Sally C · 6 years ago

Evocative. Thank you.


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