I have a doctor's appointment next week
Updated: Mar 10, 2022
Content warning: assault, enslavement (no graphic depictions) We are conditioned to think That doctors are entitled to access our bodies That their touch is scientific And we need to turn off our discomfort For our own good When they shove an applicator Up our rectum To test if we have internal bleeding That it is okay That the emergency department “Just doesn’t have any female doctors on staff” To do my pelvic exam So a white man can Configure his hand like a lover does And shove it up me to check For something or other None of which ever gets me Closer to understanding what goes on When my body throws tantrums These people who are the knowers of my body Who somehow had the good fortune To go to four years of undergraduate And four years of medical school And three years of residency Have allowed time to Ingratiate their understanding of me And now they mix their labor With their state-given access to my body To give their charts and insurance companies and then finally me Knowledge about our body I am to submit to them Not a magnum or diaphragm in sight Before, during, and after I cannot say what I know of my body until they tell me I cannot test what I want to—only what they think necessary I only frame my understanding of my body in their language CBCs and DSMs and vitamin D Disordered and diseased and deficient Are the only ways they talk about me My body is where my spirit sits for afternoon rose-hip tea And my spirit knows nothing of these people Why do they tell me their name and nothing else? Who are their parents? What land did they grow up on? Which trees do they find most comforting? Do they like the beach? Did they grow up in snow? What blood memories have their ancestors given them? Poke me with Toradol, so I can exhale in peace And let my migraine pass And then tell me a story from when you learned to eat your grandmother’s food Write down in my charts that my blurred vision and inability to walk straight Is anxiety And then let me come back tomorrow and tell me its vertigo And then let me come back tomorrow and tell me its anxiety We are moving together Can I be alone? With my body? Will you let me have my body? Will you let me tell you how I am sick? Because I do not know where a yucca grows or how to harvest it to make baskets Because three times a week I nearly pass out from the pain of vomiting Because Suapicu was kidnapped from Lalimanu to be enslaved Because many have assaulted me Because last week my professor only had white people on their syllabus Because it takes me two hours to read five pages Because I hallucinate pretty lights and colors Because I hear voices Because I haven’t had my period in three months What of that do you know? What of that do I? Where is the knowledge about my body? How can I get back the part of my spirit that was stolen? Will you give me some Toradol for later? Next week I’m covering Kant. Who am I? And who are you to know these things? When did you get your degree in me? And why can I not ask you what your ancestral herbs are? When was I my own, and when can that begin? Where was I my own, and where can that begin? On which mountain. On what sidewalk.