by Ron Riekki
They tell you, when you start paramedic school, that one out of sixty of us will get hepatitis. They tell you that we will all get colds within the first few months. There are five different versions of HIV, but the odds of us getting AIDS is less than getting hit by lightning. You can’t wear condoms for lightning. You can’t wear PPE for electricity. They tell us that hepatitis has been known to last up to two weeks on a surface, that there is nothing more dangerous than the bottom of our shoes.
I stare at floor, the baby crawling, wondering if I’d walked across the tiles after my last shift, trying to think if I took my boots off, if I ran back in for my keys. The floor, a hepatic yellow. The baby, a melanoma white. The pulse of the clock as I try to remember.