Amanda C. Brainerd and Lisa Kilhefner

Inspiration Piece
‘Test results’ by Lisa Kilhefner

I was heavy from too much sleep. The Tylenol spread
out against last night’s flickering and my red
blood cells, aching. You were visiting your sister in
Nebraska, sort of wishing you lived there too; a thin
coat of want which rubbed off every time you stepped
foot again in New York. Had I called you before I slept,
the message, too, would have been tired. You cannot blame
me for waiting. Your watch read seven, mine eight. The same
feelings were apparent then that were hanging around
when my guinea pig died in third grade, but I found
the breath to interrupt your breakfast to tell
you the results came back positive. I waited. You smelled
sterile coming off the plane. You smelled like my future nights
fighting the medicine in the hospital room, cold gray lights
on my hairless skin. I want you to reek of hyacinth again.