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January 2017, vol 12 no 4

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Janet Lynn Davis

Registration


Tap, tap, tap, tap, tap. . . Sturdy, manicured nails striking keys. So far, she's asked me three questions to do with my personal information—basically, if it's still correct. "Yes, Yes, Yes," I've responded. The tapping goes on interminably. Why, I have no idea. Elbow on desk, I rest my chin in my palm.

tick tick tick
who am I anyway?
the most I do
in this sterile space
is take a few more breaths

Then more questions—what's a good emergency contact number, if I have a living will, who my next of kin is—the same questions I've been asked a multitude of times before, followed by more tap-tapping on the keyboard. And eventually, she generates a thin plastic wristband to ID me during my brief stay, a stack of papers I must initial and sign (including one reminding me this is a smoke-free facility), and a stapled document I'm supposed to take home (a candidate for the shredder).

Twelve minutes of my life, gone. Not to mention the eighteen or nineteen minutes of wait time beforehand. To think I'm here only for a routine procedure.

fingernails
painted the color
of the sea . . .
deeper, deeper my feet
in imaginary sand


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