I sit on this bench, expressionless, senses shut down, as if I’m in a coma. So don’t speak to me. I am not a person. I am not here.
And you’ve mistaken the intent of that green dress. the message in that strapless black bra.
You misread the situation. My clothes did not put you up to this.
Sounds pass between these adjoining apartments but bodies do not. My neighbors dine at their small kitchen table. I pick on leftovers at mine. I hear their shower but I don’t rinse under it. We each have our own water, our own bodies to scour.
I say hello when I see them in the corridor. And they return my greeting. But we each go in our own doors. There’s no comingling.
My neighbors are a middle-aged couple. I am a young single woman. If years and situations were a wall, they’d be the ones I hang my paintings on.
THE GOOD NEWS WON’T LAST
I am learning, for the first time in so long, that all my tests are normal.
The doctor advises: more calcium in my diet, exercise regularly.
She still prescribes something. It’s in her nature.
She knows wellness is the first step toward sickness. In the meantime, have a cure.
Juanita Rey is a Dominican poet who has been in this country five years. Her work has been published in Pennsylvania English, Opiate Journal, Petrichor Machine and Porter Gulch Review.