The Northville Review
an online literary journal
Dear Dr. Kildare

Cynthia Litz

Dear Dr. Kildare,

I would like to come see how you manage your exciting life as an intern, and also how you part your hair over on the side like that. I would like to wear high heels and get a disease that might kill me and that’s exotic, perhaps one I caught in Paris, France, while studying ballet with someone famous, or even discovered walking home from high school one day with my best friend here in North Carolina, discovered as one simple bruise, so big you can see it through my tights in ballet class. I would like to wear my real hair atop my head and have pointy breasts under my sweater and be already twenty-four years old, and smoke a cigarette or two while you give me advice—you sitting behind your important desk while the smoke from my cigarette rises above my head. I would nod when you say you can cure me and shift my eyes to the side when you smile at me. I would write poetry on the side and perhaps be training to be a teacher and have pretty teeth when I smile at you. My skin would not be yellow on the TV screen in the living room but show up in black and white as porcelain and shadowy, like the photo of me my mother taped to the door for the nurses to see my real hair. I might have a trickle of a cough. I might have a fever in the mornings, but we can get married and have a boy who plays football and a little girl who dances lightly.


About the author

Fiction by Cynthia Litz has appeared in Narrative, Camera Obscura, Night Train, and The Annals of Internal Medicine. She was an honorable mention finalist in Glimmer Train's 2010 Very Short Fiction Contest.