Author

(This piece is about how intimacy and vulnerability are intertwined: intimacy and vulnerability between audience and reader, reader and text, doctor and patient, dog and master, lover and lover. This piece is called: show me your throat here’s mine. Can you hear?)

How about now? Is that better?

Does that hurt?
How about now? Is that better?

you take your self to the physician you tell the doctor what’s wrong you say, doctor what should I do: it hurts when I do this <Basho poem: left hand smooths, right hand jumps, both splash>
The doctor says,
stop <splash>
don’t do that

It’s a joke, don’t you get it? <splash>
It’s a joke.

Do you know what I’m talking about?
Has this ever happened to you?

you take your child to the pediatrician the child sometimes can’t tell you what’s wrong you have to read the child
you take your dog to the veterinarian the dog can never tell you what’s wrong you have to read the dog

you have to walk the dog
you have to read the dog

listen: the dog is telling you something:
the dog is saying, I’m happy to see you I’ve missed you awful okay let’s go for a walk
the dog is saying, if you dropped that piece of fried chicken then I’ll be here to help clean up
the dog is saying, leave me alone you’re too warm I don’t want to be near you right now
the dog is saying, I’m
so hurt that you can take my paw between metal forceps and pinch
so hard that your knuckles turn white but I won’t whimper or squirm I’m
so tired I can barely open my eyes to tell you that I wish that you would stop
stop <splash>

don’t do that

no one wants to tell you – : no one needs to tell you –

Do you know what I’m talking about?
Has this ever happened to you?

Open wide – say aaah.

Lie on your back – expose
your throat.

Show me your throat. Here’s mine.

© 1997 William Alba

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