by Ronny Ford
laundry room surgery
the cream and red tiles of my old laundry room
have seen my fluffy insides, know the color of my flesh
in its most vulnerable moments gushing out dryer-sheet-cotton thinking tiles to be its shrink
and those tiles did shrink me as lidocaine spilled in and thread wound through
because i was much smaller in those moments than i remember
and tumbling through the washing machine didn’t serve me well as a post-op
despite being so matted
but the perceived yellow of the inside of the oxi-clean operating room
did nothing to me as white staticky flesh spilled out of my hand
while the detergent bubbled over, laughed about me leaning over the table onto myself
And I woke up. And the nurse asked me if I needed water. And I said “what color is the inside of my flesh.” And she didn’t need to answer because it was the same color as her lipstick. And I saw myself in the toasted marshmallow teddy bear sticker on her nametag. And I fell asleep.
I am beginning my first year as a PhD student studying Medieval Literature at Michigan State University. I obtained my Bachelor’s from the same university in the subject of creative writing. I have one poem published in Sagebrush Review XII, and one in Vagabond City. I am transgender and use he/him pronouns.