The Black Napkin Volume 1 Issue 5 - Page 24



by Iris Schwartz

I insert yellow foam

earplugs after adjusting

the pillow under my head

and wait

to be pulled through this

tunnel for twenty minutes.

I had already decided—

before the preparatory knock-

knock and the whir-

whir drill sounds that hurt my teeth,

rattle my rings, and

cause my right ear to pop

I had already decided that

to get through this

I would think of you

touching and kissing

me. I know

what I have with

you will last

longer than twenty minutes.

This image rattles,

like my rings, jars,

like the knock-knock,

the whir-whir, the pop.

This image—us,

for the moment—

barely pulls me