MOONFACE by Cindy Pereira

Resident writes feels like lower back is a clenched fist. Resident writes patient’s vision is blurred but only in one eye the right. Not blurred but like a cheesecloth has been thrown over my face the right half of my face. Back spasms. Cold ache. Brain fog. Optic nerve inflamed. A migraine that never goes away. An invisible band wrapped taut around my chest and ribs a phantom’s embrace. Fatigue. A constant sense something’s terribly wrong with me. Resident is young with honey-coloured bangs and a body long and lean. 14 pills for 11 days then 10 pills then 8 pills then 6 pills then 4 pills then stop. I am regarded with cool efficiency. Colours are dull have started to f a d e. Resident says DON’T PANIC BUT DON’T PANIC BUT. Could be.
Moonface. MRI scheduled on Mom’s birthday. She’s cheerful best present is you’re okay. I look like I’m smiling but I’m gritting my teeth. Cancel work and pencil neurologist in. ‘Roid rage I smash my phone against my desk. Dad cries softly on the other line I was frying up some onions. I point out that he’s botched the joke cutting onions makes you cry Dad you don’t cry when they cook. He laughs. I can’t keep laughing for the both of us. Vertigo kicks in. I think of trepanning of “thought disease” of demons dripping from gaping hole in skull brain lesions they will find six white dots in fatty myelin Prednisone Moonface.
Resident says medication has psychiatric effects.

In the dark

at home in bed

I cover my face with one arm like a bird cloaks its beak

I wait for the world to stop bumping me on its knee.


Cindy Pereira is currently working to obtain in MFA in Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia. Her poetry has been been published by The Maynard and MacEwan University (in their anthology, Confluence). She spends most of her time in Edmonton, AB.