You: perched in an ivory pulpit, a shrew in wire-rimmed glasses.
Me: bound to an office chair, a spaniel winding his wedding ring.

You hack at the generic diagnosis
on my certificate,

insinuating I’ve bluffed a doctor,
clearing yourself of blame –

but your gnarled-knuckles are bloodied from
twisting my gut and flushing my pulse.

Here in this narrow room,
with neat piles of thumbed papers

covering your bench
as you judge,

you recite paragraph numbers; quote
“professional standards”

from a dirty-mauve hang-file
of half-truths and conjecture.

You spit bilious faux compassion
and innuendo,

peel through like an executioner
checking a slip-knot.

I’m a veteran of a simpler time, when
CCTV and keystroke logging;

traffic-light spreadsheets and risk assessments;
didn’t possess me ‘til midnight

– in a bell jar with ever decreasing walls
and no door,

nor hatch in the floor.

Daniel Morrissey

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