LIV | Some Suspicions

I do my best

to make the days

so that the nights will come,

and I can

my thoughts to Tammie

in the privacy
of my bedroom.

The nurses are always listening,
I know,

but at least

other human ears

will not hear.

We aren’t
conspiring anything.

The nurses
can tell you that.

We spend our nights
          dreaming of our future.

The nurses

won’t tell the others.

We’ll be together after this too—
Tammie tells me this


It makes me feel

warm and fuzzy

but it makes me
more and more anxious.

Will Tammie
disappear like those patients before?

How can I keep Tammie
from getting replaced?

Does Asher want to hurt Tammie?

Why does he always frown at her?

Is he seeing her
in Tammie?

I think of

and his ever-changing face

as he follows me around.

It makes me
          so frustrated.

He always seems to be
thinking really hard.

But when I ask,
he’ll say

it’s nothing.

I know he’s lying.

So I can’t let him hear

what Tammie
and I

are dreaming of.

It’s more exciting
like this,

under this thin blanket,

wrapped in the foul smell
of vomit,

dreaming of a future

for the first time,

unwilling to move
when Moonlight Sonata wakes us up

in the mornings.




Coffee splutters

from the spout
of the coffee machine

into my paper cup.

I wait,

hoping it’ll take all day
(so that it’ll be night again)

but it doesn’t.

When I turn around,
Asher’s there,

standing right
behind me

like a ghost.

The hair

on the back of my neck

I didn’t hear him coming.

He avoids my eyes.
I don’t know why.

Since he watched me paint

he hasn’t spoken to me.

Does he know
about what Tammie and I

think of him?

The last conversation we had—

was about
keeping our enemies

Why does he look at me like that?

Was it because I left abruptly
when he told me about his dream?

Should I apologise?




Did you

do something wrong?


‘No,’ I say,

It’s hot under the blanket today.


makes me stop moving.


Then you don’t have to worry.


I smile back.


Unless you did
something wrong

after all.


I pull the blanket back
so I can breathe.

The circular light

on the blank ceiling
stares back at me.

‘I don’t know,’ I say at last.




His behaviour
is suspicious.

I watch him

from where I sit by the window,

painting pictures of
Tammie in my bed.

But then

so is everyone else’s.

is pretending

I don’t exist.

He thinks I’m trouble.

I see his thoughts
in bubbles above his head.

Li Wen spends
most of her time

in Raymond’s lap

even though he ignores her,
and makes eye contact

with the object

closest to him.

She glances at me occasionally
and bends

to whisper to him.

He doesn’t look up,
she doesn’t come over.

But sometimes,

she’ll smile dangerously at me.

Zuraida too,
even though
we got off

to a good start,

she still ends up standing still for hours

in random parts
of the asylum,

and the nurses type furiously

on their phones

and end up spying on
the rest of us because of her.

(I notice the plain nurse
looking at me
every now and then.)



the most

suspicious one




to be found.

I don’t see her during meals.

She’s not in the greenhouse

when I go there
to see if she’s uprooted
the rowan trees.


at medicine time
these days,

her armchair

is empty.




error: Content is protected!!