H. E. Fisher

Vigil: Women’s Bathroom in the Heart Wing of the Hospital

When I walk in, there are two women stripped down, washing their pits and vaginas at the double-sink with industrial paper towels and dispenser soap. I am also here on a break from bedside: can’t hold it in any longer. The door closes behind me in slow-motion; anyone in the hall can see in but no one on this floor cares. Human smells clamp the space; there are no private scents. The younger woman’s eyes sweep over me, then haze back to her mother’s naked body. Time is unmeasured. Their clothes, hung over the stall, are swirls of twisted prisms. I relieve myself, come out. The mother steps aside, gestures toward the sink. I wash my hands, her bareness inches from mine.

H. E. Fisher’s poetry and prose poems appear or are forthcoming in Canary, The Hopper, Indianapolis Review, Miracle Monocle, SWWIM, Pithead Chapel, among other publications and anthologies. H.E. is the editor of (Re) An Ideas Journal.

Photo by Tom Rogerson


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