c. Elspeth Potter 2004
At your monthly doctor visit, the nurse uses a special tool to cut your wedding ring from your grotesquely swollen finger. "Only one snip," she says, as if that makes it better. "A jeweler can fix it again, good as new."
The mutilation will still be there in your mind's eye, a severing of a sacred bond. You will never wear the ring again: you can never get it onto your finger after this, even at night when the swelling is down a little.
Your husband picks you up out front. He's been getting a haircut while you listened to the rheumatologist. You can smell the fresh barbershop smell of the talcum on his collar, see little flecks of dark hair on the back of his neck, muscular and strong. He can lift you in and out of the bathtub when your knees or hips, or sometimes both, are too stiff.
He opens the door of the car for you, and helps you fasten the shoulder belt and fumble on your sunglasses. "Any new prescriptions?" he asks, as he pulls out into traffic.
November 2004. Best Women's Erotica 2005. Cleis Press. Marcy Sheiner, editor.
January 2006. Mammoth Book of Best New Erotica Volume 5. Robinson (UK)/Carroll & Graf (USA). Maxim Jakubowski, ed.
Am I pixel-stained? You decide. But I am an active member of SFWA.