By Kelly Davio

Kelly Davio is the co-publisher and poetry editor of Tahoma Literary Review and author of the poetry collection Burn This House (Red Hen Press, 2013). She is the former managing editor of The Los Angeles Review and is a reviewer for Women’s Review of Books. Her work has appeared in Best New Poets, Verse Daily, The Rumpus, and others. She earned her MFA in poetry from Northwest Institute of Literary Arts, and is a freelance writer in the Seattle area.

  1. Kelly Davio's previous Waiting Room columns for The Butter can be found here. Next month Fox brings back its wildly popular show, Empire, featuring Lucious Lyon, the fictional music mogul, record executive, and bad guy of Shakespearean proportions. Lucious spent the first season of the drama believing he was dying of ALS. But in the final hours of Season One, a smiling neurologist told Lucious he actually has myasthenia gravis, and that it’s “highly…

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  2. Kelly Davio's previous Waiting Room columns for The Butter can be found here. As a woman, you never know when the question is coming—only that it is. You may be having a perfectly innocuous conversation about the traffic, your favorite brand of peanut butter, or even your latest dental work when someone springs it on you: “You have kids, right?” This spring, while I was representing the literary journal I co-edit at a small…

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  3. Kelly Davio's previous Waiting Room columns for The Butter can be found here. Some weeks ago, I was late for a meeting and waiting at a crosswalk, impatient with the incredibly long red light. Just as the signal finally turned my way and I began my slow progresses from curb to street, a Typical Seattle Biker—white man, brown beard, tight shorts, pointy helmet—came rolling up the curb cut in front of me. He then did…

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  4. Kelly Davio's previous Waiting Room columns for The Butter can be found here. The late 1990s weren’t the most auspicious time to become a vegetarian. Meatless food of any real interest hadn’t yet entered the American mainstream, so there wasn’t much beyond lentils or chunks of naked and jiggling tofu to recommend itself in school cafeterias. At the same time, vegetarianism seemed less spooky or militant even to devoted meat-eaters; most people knew at…

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  5. Kelly Davio's previous Waiting Room columns for The Butter can be found here. In my mid-twenties, I sat for my first and only tattoo. It’s a sizable piece on my left shoulder: a wax-sealed envelope nestled in a bed of primroses. In my mind, it was a reminder that, regardless of the bad news of life—the rejection, the failure, the royal screw-ups—good news would come for me, too. There would be acceptances, success, and…

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  6. Kelly Davio's previous Waiting Room columns can be found here. The health care system I use prides itself on displaying laminated pain scale cards in each of its offices. Whether I’m in the physical therapist’s room with its suspicious-looking cords and pulleys or in my neurologist’s office being knocked upon with a hammer, everybody wants me to consult the pain scale and identify my discomfort with a number. The card features a range of…

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  7. Kelly Davio's previous Waiting Room columns can be found here. I do not have much in common with my neurologist of many years, aside from our mutual interest in keeping me alive. He’s the sort of guy who takes vacations to go shoot at wildlife on the tundra. I, on the other hand, still get creeped out by eating egg yolks. I have a sneaking suspicion he’s of a libertarian bent, while I look…

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  8. Kelly Davio's previous Waiting Room columns can be found here. The summer after I graduated from high school, I went to a backyard barbecue thrown by my new boyfriend. We’ll call him Zach (because that was his name). Zach was a talented artist and musician, hip and good-looking and cool in every way I wasn’t. We’d been dating for just a few weeks, and this was my first opportunity to meet his friends. I really…

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  9. Kelly Davio's previous Waiting Room columns can be found here. Many years ago, when I was a student studying in England, a young woman stopped a friend and me while we walked through London’s Covent Garden neighborhood. She told us that she was a fashion student and asked if she could photograph us for a street-style spread she was working on. We obliged, standing somewhat awkwardly in the middle of a busy sidewalk, perplexed…

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  10. Kelly Davio's previous Waiting Room columns for The Butter can be found here. Last month, my husband had a full week of business meeting at his company’s London office, and I decided to tag along. “Tag along” makes it sound like a small thing to make such a big expedition; in reality, since I got sick, I haven’t traveled very far from my home or my phalanx of doctors. But as I’d been doing…

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  11. Kelly Davio's previous Waiting Room columns can be found here. Driving home the other day, I was stuck behind a slow-going city bus bearing a large-format ad for a clothing store. The ad featured a man in a blazer being stared at (somewhat ominously, in my opinion) by a woman in a snug and elaborately style-lined dress, with oiled legs and flat-ironed hair. The text of the ad read “effort is back in style.”…

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  12. Previously: The Waiting Room: Girls on Oxygen Not long after we began exercising together, my husband looked at me and asked, with some degree of horror, “Is this something we have to do for the rest of our lives?” I told him that I understood regularity to be part of the whole exercise thing, and he actually shuddered. But since neither of us is getting any younger, and my doctors want me to stay…

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  13. A mix of personal essay and cultural criticism, The Waiting Room, a new column for The Butter, will look at the places where women’s body image, illness, and disability intersect. Oxygen is delicious. I’m not talking about fresh air—I’m talking about oxygen straight from the tank, pumped right into the nostrils through plastic tubing. I'm willing to overlook the piping’s new-shower-curtain smell; as soon as the gas starts flowing, my thoughts come into focus,…

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