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When The Patient Asked For A

White Doctor

Seema Yasmin

Her temple smeared across my walls,

I bowed beneath her stream.

Two arcs of piss & bloody vomit


shot inside the MRI machine.

The half-moon rolled back and she

emerged beneath me. My: too much


brown, too much blush, too many

lashes to heal, rattled loose in a split

mouth like crack rocks. She spewed


a bloody history: my people, her father,

some agony at the West Midlands Area

Conservative Society. When she groaned


Ain’t No Black In The Union Jack,

I tempered the pain—oxycodone

for one, high grade the other, ditched


my beeper in her cradle. Switched scrubs

for straps & animal skins in the back seat

of an Audi TT. I saged my hair with a blunt.


Danced away her ruin beneath a black

girl’s melody.

Seema Yasmin is a poet, doctor and journalist from London and is currently a John S. Knight journalism fellow at Stanford University. She trained in medicine at the University of Cambridge and in journalism at the University of Toronto. Her poems appear or are forthcoming in The Literary Review, Shallow Ends, Coal Hill Review, Glass, Breakwater Review and others. Her chapbook, For Filthy Women Who Worry About Disappointing God, won the Diode Editions chapbook contest and was published in 2017.

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