There is a construction worker with a plastic yellow hat ordering six cups of water. He’s inches away from me. I want to ask if I can have one but I’m strapped down in a bed. I see a doctor with a blue shower cap on. No, I’m not strapped down, I just can’t move. Where did the dirt‐covered worker go? He’s gone. There is no water. Thirsty. So thirsty. A crow flies overhead. Cuh‐cawing. He has an ice cube in his pointy beak. Feathers so black they could be purple. Will he drop the ice cube down for me? He’s gone and I’m floating in a river. Ripples of muddy water pass by my bed. Why is the blurry blue‐capped doctor still here? “Can I get you some water?” he asks. My eyes are shutting. There’s a volcanic hole in my throat. It burns orange like embers. He hands me a mosquito‐sized cup. Is this a bed? “That’s a tough operation.” He dabs a washcloth to my face. Was I crying? I feel the crow looking at me through his beady bird eyes. I raise my head to the wax cup but it doesn't move. Who is pushing me down? I choke. How do I choke, I didn't have any water. He stands above me with wrinkles and blue meshing together. “You need something for the pain?” I can’t answer. Why does he ask me things that I can’t answer? My eyes shut. There’s an igloo on the television screen. Do I live there? “That should kick right in.” My arm. It’s blue like him. Is that a needle? I reach for it but my hand doesn't move. “I’ll bring you into ambulatory in just a few minutes.” He tells me what I can eat. He says macaroni. There is a cheese‐covered man dripping on my bed. Did that strangled sound come from me? My right foot is floating above me in the air. “How’s your pain now?” He’s wheeling me in a shopping cart down grey tiled halls. No, that’s a bed. I’m in a new room and I cry for the feeling that lives inside my throat.


Tonsillectomy was published in Extract(s) Daily dose of lit on September 11, 2014.

Copyright 2014