image courtesy of South African photographer Angelique Schreiber



The fear

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.

“Bite.”
“Keep your tongue down.”
“Breathe.”
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.

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