LXXIII | Some Attention

Strange ideas
swim in my head

like they always do

when I wake up,

sticking to me like magnets
that refuse to repel.

on how to

apologise to Tammie.

I’d made it worse
doing that…

that…act of inducing jealousy

with Asher.

She’s barely around now.

I’m painting her
more feverishly.

Don’t forget.

Don’t forget.

Don’t forget.

She’s leaving.
And it fills me with a familiar panic.

She’s slipping away
and I can’t handle it.

Her smile,

her eyes,

her body.

The things I hate about her,
the things that made me willing

to push her away,

they don’t matter now.

I want her back.


I need her back.


My room
is filled with paintings of her.

I found bluetack

to stick them on the walls

so I’d be surrounded
by Tammie
every night.

I stare at her now,

all her different expressions

and beg her
to forgive me.

I’ll kneel down.

I’ll do anything.

Just notice me.

Let me touch you.
Let me hug you again.

Have sex with me
just once

so I’ll remember you forever.


Like you did with Asher.


I sit up suddenly,
searching for

her voice.

Moonlight Sonata drawls,


Tammie giggles.
I’m hallucinating her voice now.

I giggle with her.


I’ll never forgive you.


I cry

and the nurses
have to come drag me downstairs.




Of course,
Asher asks me

what’s wrong.

I’ve decided to paint today’s tree
instead of Tammie.

I tell him

I have no idea.

He asks me
how can I cry without knowing why.

I tell him

I have no idea.
I need an idea.

I want her back.


The girl in the painting?


I respond.

He asks what happened

between us.

I don’t know
how to explain it.

I play with the blue encrusted paintbrush
ruined from last time.

I think about snapping it

and filling myself

with splinters.

Will that make her satisfied?

I can imagine
her delighted laugh.

It sounds mocking somehow.

I tell him
I betrayed her

so I have
no right

to want her

in my future.

I don’t deserve
a future

without her.

I don’t deserve
a future

with her.

Just a moment is fine.
But it’s not.




Asher suggests

the most obvious

and I decide
I won’t talk to him about her


We’re silent

the rest of the day.

He’s restless
because I didn’t respond—

shifting from foot to foot
on the painted acrylic word.

He disappears

and I’m all alone in the world

and it’s my fault.


Tammie walks to the kitchen,
a skip in her step.

She’s in a good mood.




It’s obvious.
Too obvious


I know
I’ve already tried that.

It didn’t work.
It won’t work.

She won’t forgive me.

She won’t even listen to me.

Tammie’s grey eyes
land on me.

No, she’s looking
into the cup she’s drinking from.

Now she’s put it down.

And she’s still looking.

Then she’s gone.
Skipping back to the studio

taking the vomit smells

with her.


One last time,
I promise myself.




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