Talking It Out

by Simon Mermelstein

(first line from Freud, via Emily Berry)

I became a therapist against my will 
and against my better judgement.
I found that asking leading questions
was better than making statements
and had similar effects. Do you know why this is?
How does it feel
when I ask you how you feel instead of inferring?
My lawyer father told me
to never ask a question you don’t already know the answer to.
But what does he know?
Your mother told you to bury
your emotions and your father;
now I am an archeologist
and you, my love, are the badlands. Or maybe the wetlands.
I whisper a series of fine brushes,
and bone dust spills into the parched air
and gets into your eyes. Blink for me.
I never meant to confuse
excavation for communication,
the prying blade of the tip of the shovel
for what lies beneath. Does it scratch?
What can we learn from explosions?
Shotgun shell sonar suggests the presence
of large objects at an unspecified depth.
Are you petrified? Don’t be.

It’s not like I have a degree in this.


Simon Mermelstein’s poetry appears/is upcoming in Atlanta Review, RHINO, Spillway, FreezeRay, Cleaver, Mobius, Radius, The MacGuffin, Literary Orphans, Black Heart, The I-70 Review, and the nebulous “other places.” A Pushcart nominee, he performs regularly in Ann Arbor and Detroit, and just released his second chapbook, The Continuing Adventures of Orthomax (now with BOMBASTIC PENTAMETER®!!!). In his spare time, he enjoys winning slams and getting published.  <>

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