laundry room

surgery

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.

Ronny Ford

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