radioactive by Sam Rose

radioactive

we take the afternoon off work to visit the nuclear
medicine department at the hospital
and in the evening I try to access some feeling and I ask myself

if I cry, will that help flush the radiation out of my body?
or will it just give the bags under my eyes a buttercup glow
as if my pupils had become suns

stop
I say
stop
It was just a CT scan, just a tiny amount of radiation
and you are just melodramatic
you are just a girl, not spiderman
and nothing is happening

but that’s what burns

by Sam Rose

Twitter: @writersamr

Editor’s Note: The fractured lines and words of this poem perfectly encapsulate the uncertainty inherent in dealing with illness and the medical treatment that can feel more like a machine than healing.