…the female radiographer, I say, and you turn as I stand there, not changed into that hygienic, anonymising, humiliating piece of paper, and we both know my voice is weak and almost lost against the lightglare/machinebeep/antisepticness of it all, but it is my voice and it still works, even while so much of me is failing, and I don’t know why this is the moment I ask for something and don’t just deal with what I’ve been given but I’m so full of the uncoveryourself/seenitallbefore/you’rejustanotherbody when it’s my body and I can’t bear another set of eyes to treat me as impersonal flesh when so much of it is failing, and anger is an important part of grieving and I’ve lost the person I was and I want, I need to know that eventually I’ll be stronger, but not now while I wait for someone to smear me with that viscous substance that gets everywhere, my breasts, my mouth, my essence, and we both wait for someone to say something and I have no more words but this is not a failing, and I stand there, feetfixed/handsclenched/notbare, and I want and I need, and you turn-


Anita Goveas is British-Asian, London-based, and fuelled by strong coffee and paneer jalfrezi. She was first published in the 2016 London Short Story Prize anthology, most recently in The Ilanot Review and Little Fiction. She’s on the editorial team at Flashback Fiction, an editor at Mythic Picnic’s Twitter zine, and tweets erratically @coffeeandpaneer Her debut flash collection, ‘Families and other natural disasters’, is available from Reflex Press, and links to her stories are at https://coffeeandpaneer.wordpress.com