LXXI | Some Tears

Asher’s tears are salty.
His lips are warm.

He’s asking the same question against my skin.

Over and over.




Then, I feel his anger
at himself.


You’re insane.

I’m a monster.
Do you realise—


Shut up.

I silence him
with my own warmth.


Forget everything.

Make me forget too.



I’m begging you.



He inhales,

and his pain is overshadowed

by desire.

He’s tentative at first,
raising goosebumps

along my arms.

There’s a knock on our cubicle door.

A nurse’s voice.

His hand
flicks the shower on.

Clothes fall.

Everything is warm.

David enters the bathroom
and his whispers fill the empty space

with bouncing echos.

Another shower turns on.

Asher holds me up
against the wall.

My back is cold
against the wall

but everywhere else is warm.

His breath
smells like water.

Water runs down his face.

It’s the shower,
I tell myself

even though I see them

leaking from his eyes.

He’s gentle.
He’s careful.

So I whisper into his good ear,

Do you need me
to bite off your other ear too?




Fear flashes,

and wild fury,
in his eyes.

He’s gripping my arms with full strength,

pulling me from him,
pinning me to the wall.


You want to die ah?


His voice is grating.

I’m not her,
I tell him.

I’ll repeat it like a mantra
if I have to.

I reach out for him.

He groans,
hold on me weakened

and I know

I’ll get what I want.

Tammie’s face
comes to mind

as we collide

and I see she’s
on his mind too

when he starts burning

like a bonfire.


The flames
don’t last long.

They never will.

Not with the water running like that,

whining voice
replacing repetitive whispers.

Door opens,

I notice Li Wen’s

bushy hair,
wide eyes.

Then it’s hot again.

We’re too busy for me
to think straight

but I remember a familiar thrill

running up my spine.

an old memory.

Lean slender fingers.


My tears.

Then white-clad nurses,
dragging us apart.

Tearing my other half away
like a butcher slicing tendons.

I’m screaming—

the piercing sound
also familiar.

Yes, this is how

it happened.
I remember it





A towel instead of a needle.

A chair instead of a bed.

A murmur instead of a reprimand.

I stare
at the immaculate face

Asher’s close by,
not gone.

He’s speaking
(too fast)

to the pretty nurse.

I recognise the words
but I can’t understand what he’s telling her.

Water drips from his face,

hair matted flat
so he looks
like the first time I saw him.

I feel


the first

We create puddles
on the beige carpet.

His puddle is clear.

Mine is streaked with red.

Li Wen stares
with a curled lip, tilted chin
by the staircase.

Tammie is beside her,
her grey eyes

meeting mine,


Just like I wanted.

I think I’m satisfied.
It’s what I want.

My nails dig into my palm.

The more I stare,
the more clearly I see

the indifference.

It’s what…
I want.

Something’s missing.

All that warmth

and I’m emptier
than I should be.




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