Call It Self Care
Today she forgets my daughter, then places her in college.
Gently I walk her back, watching her strain to know
what she knows. She gives me a handout she’s given me before
and I take it like it’s new. A year ago I came to pay someone
to pretend I am visible one hour a week. I wanted to be solid
in my body. I am tired, I said then, of pleasing and appeasing.
I am tired of smoothing. Now I sit on her small couch,
at times a stranger to her, at other times another client,
only occasionally myself. I keep coming and thank her every time.
When my benefits run out for the year, I come anyway
worried that others will leave her, that she needs me.
I tell her I am feeling better. I am not. It’s easy,
my own absence. It’s familiar. What I came to cure,
I instead perfect. Find your calling, she says.