The Stranger’s Land.


It’s back to the shattered sleep
and the hopeless nights
when my inhibitions
got hold of me and shook and broke me
when someone sends me a gift
like that collage of me you sent, a gesture of your love.

It’s back to the fear and the dread
and the curdling of my blood
when someone puts out a card
at my front door for a party
like you did, your letter of blood, in the hope that
it’ll make me hate you less than I do now.

It’s back to the terror and hysteria
and the stopping heartbeat
when I feel someone tap
my shoulder from behind in recognition
the way you did when I
walked from my office to home at night.

It’s back to those hours at the police station
and the uninterrupted questioning
when I look for news items to report
the same way it did when
I filed a complaint against you
and they questioned my clothes.

It’s back to those walk of shames
and the fight-for-my-right protests
that I cover today
the same way I did when they
asked about you and if I wanted
to compensate.

It’s back to the long hours at court
and the judgement that took months
to pass
only for you to serve weeks
in the laps of luxury
while you were imprisoned.

It’s all back when I read
the news of your release
in the newspaper I worked for
and I know what can happen as
I pack my bag and buy a ticket
in cash for a stranger’s land.