P s y c h o t h e r a p y

sam sax

         After Adelia Prado

i invent three nightmares for my therapist to decipher.

the first i’m eating a plate of boiled peanuts — inside

each a boy, winged + writhing + red, he writhes red

+ winged between my teeth. in the second my father

digs a hole in our backyard, i lay face down in the rain,

for a moment i’m mud covered, then an island, then a city

swallowed by flood. in the last + this is the most transparent,

i’m a pane of glass all the boys in my class press their lips

against before heading to war. i want my therapist to know,

i’m the glass + the war + the hole + the boiled.

i want him to stab at what’s bleeding just below the surface.

to reach down my throat + release me from inside

the locked safe. i want to look at myself in the mirror

without swallowing all my father’s heart medicine.

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