It's not novel sitting bare-cheste against a metal plate waiting for x-rays to be zapped through me.
I've been here before, and often: the disappearing staff, the familiar buzz.
But this time the Republic of South Africa is taking an interest: for my work visa, I can't have TB.
I don't, of course, and won't be going with some of my parents' classmates
to the sanitorium halfway up Gelligaer mountain. But there is a niggle
that some opacities might exist: small patches of light on the radiograph,
or worse, coalescences, or dark cavities shadowing death.
No problem, the radiologist tells me and I'm in and out in no time.
One thing, she says, as I'm at the door, have you had chicken pox as an adult?
Yes, a gift from my daughter. You must have been quite ill. Why do you ask?
Oh, she says, you have a number, actually a great number, of scars on your lungs.
Biography: Kate Noakes is a PhD student at the University of Reading researching contemporary British and American poetry. Her most recent collection is The FIlthy Quiet (Parthian, 2019). Her first non-fiction title, Real Hay-on-Wye, is forthcoming from Seren in 2022 and her next poetry collection is Goldhawk Road from Two Rivers Press in 2023. She lives in London.