Fiction · 01/06/2021

Sanitize

Sanitize your hands, sanitize your daughter’s hands, sanitize the kitchen countertops, sanitize the kitchen table, sanitize your daughter’s Nalgene water bottle, sanitize her iPod touch, sanitize her pill box, sanitize The Giver, sanitize the fluffy purple pen, sanitize your daughter’s diary, sanitize her toothbrush body, sanitize the knob to the bathroom door, sanitize your daughter’s bedside table, lay your daughter on the flowery bedspread and sanitize the site of her central line, sanitize the blue spout and attach the tubing to the plastic ball filled with vancomycin, sanitize the vancomycin ball and wait five hours for it to drain into your daughter, sanitize the phone and watch American Idol season eight together, sanitize the remote control, sanitize the kitchen countertops, sanitize the kitchen table, sanitize the bottom of your daughter’s plate, sanitize the handle to the salad tongs, sanitize the handle of the spaghetti casserole spoon, sanitize the handle of your daughter’s fork, sanitize your daughter’s beads and lanyard string, sanitize your daughter’s instruction book, sanitize the scissors, sanitize her bedside table, sanitize your daughter’s pillbox, sanitize the Nalgene water bottle, sanitize your daughter’s diary, sanitize the fluffy purple pen. Cover your daughter’s central line in plastic wrap and tape so it doesn’t get wet with water. Sanitize the bathtub and fill it. Sanitize your daughter.

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Maia Paras Evrigenis is a graduate of the CalArts MFA in Creative Writing program. She writes novels and short stories with a focus on the body and illness. As a writer and leukemia survivor, Maia’s goal is to create space in the way we talk about and perceive cancer survivorship.