A TESTAMENT TO MY NEED FOR THERAPY (AKA: THE EPIPHANY: OH, F**K ME. I’M IN LOVE.) by Tawni Waters

Jesus Christ, what this world really needs is another shred of broken heart poetry, another bit of degradation and miscommunication and articulation of pain, but that’s where I’m going with this, so bear with me.  I’ll try to dazzle you with some literary tricks, throw distractions at you like I’d throw a stick at you if you were a dog, so you’d be so busy chasing that worthless thing, you’d never notice I was standing there on your metaphorical lawn weeping.  But I am, damn it.  (Go catch the stick!)  I’m good at this.  Not stick throwing.  Finding men that throw punches that never miss the gut.  You’d think I loved this rut, but I don’t.
Or maybe I do.  What I love is men who seem larger than life.  What I never want is to be anyone’s fucking wife.  I suppose those two things add up to this.  Me standing here throwing sticks at you, crying about some man I knew and actually liked.  Like under his skin, when he took off the star, and was just, well, what all boys are, I still liked him.  That doesn’t happen for me much.
And the problem is he’s such a.  . .well, I picked him for this.  He’s such an unattainable gift, like when the cat tries to climb the Christmas tree to get to the angel, and the whole thing falls over on him instead.  If the poor thing’s lucky, he ends up with a dent in his head.  If not, the lights fry him, right?
Oh holy night, the cat is brightly shining.
What the fuck is wrong with me?  Weaving metaphors about dead felines and killer trees. I’m an animal lover, really.  This poem is sick.  So much for literary tricks.  (But still, go catch the stick.)  Would it help if I told you I’m the cat?  Just a girl, no fur, at least when I shave.  And though I’m unfried, my condition is grave.  I’ll lay it out for you.  I’m in love with a man, always was, and it was safe, because I knew I could never touch him
Only I did.
I reached the top of the tree without disaster, and then what was I supposed to do but fuck the angel?  Is this disturbing you?  Read faster.  Gloss over the gritty parts.  In the name of art, I am extolling my grief, but the truth is, I am doing this in lieu of writing this man, telling him how his hands on my face felt like home to me.  How I never thought that the top of the tree would be the thing I actually wanted.  What I wanted was to fall before I got caught.  What I wanted was a a love that would not make its way into the real world and disturb my exquisite life.  (Remember that bit about being a “fucking wife”?  I’ve been one of those.  In my experience, it sucks.)
But now I do want his love.  And I don’t.  And I won’t write him a word.  That would be absurd.  To say what I think.  I need a shrink.  “I’m in love with him,” I’d say, and Dr. Love would cock his head in that understanding “tell me more” way therapists do, and I’d say, “That’s it. I’ve admitted it.  This is big for me,” and he would say, “Is it? Really?”  And I’d wind up telling him about the goddamn tree and the dying cat, and I think they pathologize people like that.
I bet I’d get some good drugs.
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