The sound of laughing down the hall, the white walls mocking the emptiness I know and it’s a look she gave me as they rolled her away and then it’s a “this is as far as you can go.”
I cried when we were in the room. She said, “Esto no es nada, uno tiene que ser fuerte en la vida.” I know my tears are disappointing, “Por que no veniste ayer? Eres un cobarde.” and I know it’s true – I am nothing but a coward because she is the strongest thing I know. I saw her weakness in a needle attached to an IV and I couldn’t handle it.
“We might need to remove her ovaries.” I fumbled with the buttons on my sleeve thinking about the changes my first home would undergo. She and I were the same once: I see her in my rebellious nature, my big brown eyes, and I’m in the waiting room, but really I’m fast asleep dreaming while the doctors are removing tumors. She hates waiting is not a patient person, overly anxious, some would say. She conveys emotions openly and I am my father. He’s praying in the chapel and fear hides behind his calm. He hasn’t slept for days and he knows how to wait. He retreats to himself when something is wrong; I retreat to my books. My mother is a snake charmer that can coax him out and make him dance, but she’s in the operating room and the doctors are false charmers using metal instruments to extract the bad.
There’s this consistent beeping that is monitoring someone’s life down the hall and the laughing in the hallway has ceased. I am my father again, seemingly distant and cold because we are too deep and yet too easily we overflow with emotion; I cause floods. I wear a red necklace with a stone shaped like a lifesaver that my mother gave me. She bought it in Mexico. I am clutching it tightly hoping it can save me.