Robbie Gamble



Big guy, ex-con, lots of tattoos
comes in for an evaluation
of hemorrhoids. He goes over
his symptoms, then admits
he was afraid to get checked
for almost a year because
he was abused as a kid.
Four guys took turns,
three holding him down,
while the other did him.

In that moment,
the world deflates
to the two of us
in a little white room
with his pain.
And sometimes
I don’t know
what healing is,
just hoping it begins.




“Omar” was originally published in DISTRICT LIT, 2017.