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25/07/2016

Allie

Emma Mackilligin

I remember
slicing onions
with someone else’s hands,
sleeping on
car key pillows
and driving through every red light with my babies
in the backseat.

My mother took me
to the emergency room
and stood
around with doctors
watching my legs
hammer the air.
I got increased medication in a take-away cup.

Four p.m. became
an unusual hour.
The particular quality
of afternoon light
angled on hardwood floor
urged me to pile my clothes
precisely
in the room’s centre
and set them
alight.

My husband took me
to the hospital.
We waited
for the doctors
in a diving bell.

He left
when the door
of the locked ward
locked
and I was
dropped
to the depths
of the sea.

I was undressed
for examination
by the doctor.
He told me to lie down
told me to sit up
stood behind me
and asked,
Do you like to kiss your husband’s penis?

In my younger years
I was often made to believe
that something about me
made men behave badly.

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