A Portrait of Me Failing at Therapy

The door opens, she says my name, looks at her chart,
I’m there. How are you? Come in. I crack my limbs to sit
Rigid in the corner, on the couch’s edge, tapping my toes
On carpet. I don’t take off my coat, I don’t get comfortable.
Her brow furrows. I’m sure she’s tired, importance drains
From my collected narratives, my hands die on my lap, my
Back curls forward, when I speak words fall from my lips,
Die in the same grave as my hands. I’m aware of my shape,
My face, pale, purple square, my eyes sitting big in my head.
I am a clogged bathtub, plug pulled yet the water won’t drain,
I am dirty bathwater instead of warm, delicious soup, a good girl
Who can solve my own problems and likes to waste your time.
I grow exhausted halfway through sentences, yet finish them
Some easy way, with a simple conclusion, an “I Don’t Know,”
I can envision a hundred better ways to say it, the solutions.
She replies, then I know she misunderstood, I said it wrong,
What did I even say? It vanished back into the recesses
Of memory, buried under dinner plans and wondering when,
She spells back my own problem incorrectly, I don’t recognize
The words, were they even mine? Did I frame it that way?
In her face a muscle twitch, dread thrives in my brain’s clime
She is judging me. She thinks I look like a dried up dish rag,
She doesn’t understand why I make the same petulant claims
Every week, asking for suggestions for my mundane pains.
I envision escaping this stranger, summoned with dark magic,
I follow myself out of my own words to where I feel most safe,
Leaving her behind with her advice, the rephrasing of my lies.
I could have painted a picture but instead I scribbled figures,
Now we can outline my goals, she reads them back to me,
So I can hear my hollow words again in a stranger’s voice.


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