XLVII | Some Anger Issues

I wake up
in a panic

but a comforting smell
surrounds me.

I relax,

open my dry mouth,

try to speak.



I’m in my own bed
when I finally open my eyes.

There’s no one

in the room
with Tammie and me.


sitting beside me on the bed,
one hand in mine.

(They’re glued together with sweat.)


She shakes her head.

There are usually nurses after
something like this.

That’s right,
this means I didn’t do anything wrong.


I sit up.

Tammie leads me to the door
and we peek outside together,

her breath sour and warm
down my neck.

He’s squatting on the landing,

like a little kid
lost in a mall,
eyes staring at

nothing in particular.

There are

no nurses with him.

They didn’t… remove him?

There’s no need

for her to reply

because we can both remember
and we can see him



Maybe Fatima
didn’t exist

to begin with?

Bright sunlight
shines mutely

through the curtainless window.

Something like
          erasing the existence of someone

shouldn’t be possible.

My hand goes up,
touching the part of my throat
that’s bruised—

I remember.

I remember what happened

No one can tell me
it didn’t happen.

I won’t,
I won’t believe it,
even if Tammie says so.

I don’t believe

Tammie says,
you know.

I touch the part of my throat that feels sore
and squeeze.

          no longer hurts.

As though
he knew I was thinking of him,

looks directly at me

from where he squats
on the landing.

My breath catches

in my throat,
even though…
even though…

I didn’t do

anything wrong.

He was the one
who hurt me.


Did he?
Did he really?

Or are you

hallucinating again?
Hmm, Fifi?


I close the door
with a loud slam,

my chest tight

for some reason.

There’s a knock
on the door.

His voice—
that bastard’s

arrogant voice.


If you can’t fight back,
then at least defend yourself.
Behaving like a loser

won’t make me pity you.

Come out and say it to my face.


What does he have
against me?

Why are they

tormenting me?

Tammie’s kneeling in front of me,
fingers wiping the wetness away.

I clutch her shirt

like a baby,

unable to speak
but not sure why.

My throat is okay.

I’m alive. He’s alive.
I didn’t kill anyone.

Tammie’s real.

Everything’s perfect.

am I





The knock again.
On the door.

I’m leaning on it,
keeping it shut.

Keeping the bastard out.

His knock


as my tears slow down.

His voice
isn’t arrogant anymore—

It’s muffled.


I’m sorry. I went too far.


I must be hearing things.


I’m sorry,
I’m sorry.

You’re not her.




You’re not her.

I don’t like you
but you’re not her.

You’re not her.

I’m sorry.
Fiona, I’m sorry.

The nurses said it’ll be fine
so long as I apologise.




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