a therapy technique used to identify, process,
and release trauma that is commonly used
on patients presenting with PTSD.
locate point in patient’s vision that makes them freeze,
dead doe in blind blinking lights,
shake like summer sweetgum in a windstorm,
dribble raindrops from their jaded eyes.
don’t let them move.
ask them to remember.
patient recording of events:
his eyes were always so cold,
granite like home’s kitchen countertops,
volatile, like the campfire we sat around.
his intentions flying left, right, center.
don’t believe boys who say i love you after the first day.
don’t believe boys who ask you to come home for ice skates.
(his parents aren’t home)
(you aren’t safe)
his room is shoebox size and covered in soccer pictures.
i forget his parents are normal-
live laugh love in the living room.
he has nothing here,
no band posters or flannels,
pen scribbled doodle jeans.
this is a past house, ghosts on every wall.
i’m a ghost in his bed, pushed down in an imitation of
his first love.
he had her right on these sheets.
did i say yes?
i didn’t mean it if i did
i don’t think i said no, not the last time.
not after months of it tumbling out of my mouth,
ruining rooms i barely stepped into.
i need to buy groceries and do bills and review tonight.
am i bad at therapy? there’s way too much on my mind.
he asked me if i wanted a cookie afterwards.
he attributed it to the post-orgasmic high,
but it was the beginning of thin rib nights because
i couldn’t stomach the thought of our ice skate errand,
or solid food, consequentially,
for six fortnights.
i really need to go get groceries.
he’s writing poetry now,
bragging that i loved it,
talking about lavender girls that aren’t me-
i was an inconsequential blip in his life.
how did he ruin mine?
lavender is my favorite color but now i wish it wasn’t.