Things I don’t say

I’ve written in blood,
in foot-high letters, on the wall
of the hospital smoking room:
where flakes of paint peel, where
there is a waterline of nicotine
a foot wide and thickening,
up to a ceiling, blank
as the faces of the night-staff
and starting to crack.
I’ve upset the other patients.

I say I don’t care.
I’ve said it a hundred times:
a lie as dry as my tongue.
I’m at it again and prickling
for someone to see the truth.
I don’t fucking care. Fuck you all.
My eyes, sharp, as I write.
My lips, pursed throughout.
I don’t make a sound, just let
the words dribble and merge.
I always wanted to find my voice

though, I never thought it’d be
quite so knifing and full of spite.
Never wrote in red, but I always did prefer
the black over the green or the blue. ¬
Docile, I submit to the nurse: sit still as air
as she stitches me in, as I fold
my feelings back in and hope
she approves. This faceless nurse
who wraps those bandages tight, never
looks me in the eye

but is looking me in the wound
as if she knows that is me in there.
So she pushes me further in,
binds me up in that white gauze
until the ruby stains do¬n’t leak through
and she can send me away, to sit
in the plastic chairs, with a discharge sheet
and A Letter to my GP
and no idea what I will do, as I wait
for someone to come for me.

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