LXX | Some Feelings

I see confusion

in Asher’s eyes.

He’s tilted his head,
plastic ear pointed at me


To hear me better.

That’s not the problem though.

His fingers twitch.

He’s scared.

The fear makes its way
into his eyes.

Along with


I’m sure
that’s also


in mine.

He leaves before I can be sure
it’s really guilt in his eyes.


He doesn’t come back

even though I wait,
paint drying out my brush.


The sky darkens.

There’s no sun today.

No moon either.

Moonlight Sonata
whispers through the walls.

I move

at last,

like the other patients,
one leg numb.

I notice

there’s a new patient
in Urei’s armchair.

David. That’s his name.

Unlike Urei,
he doesn’t shut up—keeps whispering under his breath.

Tammie’s turned away from me,
staring at him.

Asher refuses to look at me.




Alone again tonight,

I’m sweaty
even without the blanket.

The sleeping LED light
taunts me from above.

I think about


instead of Tammie.

Our conversation.
What I said wrong.

I don’t understand.

The questions
he asked.

He has memories too.

A story he once told.
I blame the blue paintbrush

for not covering up
the word

I painted onto the carpet.

His plastic ear
had once been a real ear.

The one who tore it off
had once been


His expression,
I remember vaguely,



I still do it—
killing her.

Over and over again.


If I’m dead,
maybe Tammie

will also forgive me for ruining her life.

As soon as I’m back from taking my medicine,
I plant myself

directly in front of Asher.

I don’t move

even when he’s escorted
to take his medicine.

He looks at me


because it’s bewildering
to him.

Different emotions flash
like stop-motion across his face

keeping time

with David’s whispering.

His hair

is longer now,
standing in wild grassy clumps.

I run my hand

through my own tangled hair.


Moonlight Sonata stops
and I grab his arm

before he can escape.

The plain nurse watches from afar,
just to be safe.

He’s small,

but like that time
when he strangled me,

he’s strong.

I’m wrenched

I catch him again.

He’s annoyed now, for sure.
But he turns
to yank me off

and I see anguish.

Asher. Asher. Asher.

I follow him
like a parasite

into the guys’ bathroom.

He grabs a random set of clothes
and ducks into a cubicle.

I wedge myself

in between

so he has no choice
but to

let go
of the door

or crush me.

I close it behind me.

His voice is firm.

You asked first.

I’m uncertain now.

he says again.

You want to.

His voice is angry.

But he’s shaking.

He’s hard.

And then,
he’s crying.




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