The Student Doctor

Certain details I had hid from you

during the course of our relationship –

the story of the Uncle’s abuse,

the feelings of arousal from a dead

grandfather, the cicatrix on my left palm

from an intentional burn –ones, I determined

you could do without knowing, as you would press

me to speak more, justify, provide context

when I wasn’t ready. But when I offered to be

your practice patient for a mock history

& physical exam, I assumed the persona, not

of an imaginary man, but of myself,

and with a gentle nudge of your question: ‘Any history

of hostility, abuse, psychological issues

that come to mind?’ they came pouring out,

one by one, like thin oil, to the student-doctor version

of you. I had surprised myself by the end of it, noticed

how you were taken aback, your eyes hazed

with discomfort. And what came next was the lover’s concern,

the way I had known it would come.

–Tanmoy Das Lala

Tanmoy lives in New York City with his partner, Eric, and a pea plant. His works have appeared in various online journals. His website is


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