I screw my eyes shut,
The blinding lights still managing
To perforate through my eyelids.
I smell the disinfectant,
Taste the latex gloves holding my mouth open.
“Keep your tongue down.”
He repeats this like a mantra.
Over and over again
My whole body is wound tight,
My hands balled into tight fists,
Wish I had your hand to squeeze.
The dentist’s is a weird place to miss you.
Yet here I am.
Kamcilla Pillay is a former journalist who has travelled locally and abroad extensively covering science, environmental and development issues. She lives in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal and now teaches high school English.