The Incredible History of Patient M.

by Emily Berry

I went swimming with the Doctor,

he wore his stethoscope and listened

to the ebb and flow. 'Bad line', he said.

I hid the stones in my pockets.

I'm in training with the Doctor -

I'm closely monitored.

He straps his velcro cuff to my bicep

and pumps it till I'm breathless.

'You need to breathe more,' he says.

On Thursdays he examines me

on all fours. He wears a white coat

with too-short sleeves.

He can't work out why I'm so heavy.

His wrists are great hairy chunks,

and he wears no watch.

'Time is nothing,' says the Doctor.

He's unconventional. 'Time is nowhere,

like a dead bird in a cave. 'Let's take a look inside.'

I'd never opened up before. The Doctor

has a scalpel. 'And I'm not afraid to use it!'

He calls it his shark's tooth.

The Doctor Bites and leaves a mark

like the fossil of a sprung jaw.

He slapped my face with his penis. 

'To get you going,' he said. My heart is now

on red alert, apparently. 'If it stops,'

he reminds me,

'you're dead.'