At the Court Psychologist’s

They sent me to the fourth floor of the old
Laperal building; I remember how my heels

clicked when I climbed the stairs. Stenciled
numbers above doors were nondescript:

some were faded, some completely merged
with the background. It turned out the woman

behind the office door I opened was both clerk
and scribe. She looked up from the remains

of her lunch before rummaging in a dented
metal cabinet for a form and a ballpen— BIC,

orange plastic carriage, blue ink— and a sheet
of typewritten questions: Take your time,

come back when you have finished your marital
history.
I paid and watched as she filled out

a receipt by hand then handed me the carbon
copy. She pointed out a blank and there I signed

my name. A nearly dry stamp pad lay open
on one side of the desk; she took my right thumb

and rolled it on its surface; then, pressing, I
affixed my mark in a box on the final page.

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