Every time the doctor sighs

looks me in the face, a faint smile playing around his lips

eyes sketching scars into my cheeks as if I am    nothing

more than a shrunken pea

another idiotic woman 

a googler

a giver-upper

a hypochondriac who loves the drama

I think of lunging across the desk between us and strangling him with his stethoscope

watching his eyes grow wide & asking him: have you tried        Valium?

Therapy?                   Turning off Casualty?

& seeing him suddenly realise and apologise

But instead I sit quietly & wait 

for the next patronising question

and wish I could say:

the night has teeth & so do the inside of my ribs

my joints are the chalk breaking against the chalkboard

my heart’s a formula one car & my body’s the barrier it crashes into

my stomach’s filled with cement & so’s my head

my spine’s the drill that’s tunnelling into it

as he closes the pink file full of everything

that’s not wrong with me

& wraps up another useless consultation

I stare at the top of his round, balding head 

& wish I could scoop out my insides 

& say,   here  —

take it, take it



Freyja Jones is a writer who has just finished her MA in Creative Writing at Birkbeck School of Arts. Her writing has previously been published in VAGABOND CITY and Girls Get Busy. @freyja_lillie