We pull truths out of us
like magicians pulling foot upon foot
of rainbow scarves out of throats.

I gag on each knot, and your truths
string our past selves up by their necks,
push them off high rafters. Every day

I grieve for what I thought we were.
You can survive this, the therapist says.
It’s what people do, survive

the broken marriages, the deaths,
the things that almost kill us,
the message read in the purple sunsets

slipping under the horizon—we go to dinner.
Across the table, you eat obliviously,
and I watch your tongue’s

slow tango with rich food and fine wine.
I think of how it traced her birthmarks
and freckles, how it twisted into whispers

and moans, lashed out lies, insults and apologies.
Then I’m crying into my napkin,
and you are dumbfounded. On the way home,

I want to hear stories of the other women
again, I want to crawl into bed with them, taste
them, run my fingers through the tangles

in their hair. I want to forget
me. When you fuck me,
I lie still. I don’t know who to be

or who you are. None of this surprises
our therapist, but I’m in a constant state of awe:
The air outside is hazy with pollen,

the bees swarm the flowers after a hard rain,
and fragrance pervades everything.
I love it violently and it makes me ill.

TAGS: , ,

ANNE CHAMPION is the author of Reluctant Mistress, a poetry collection forthcoming from Gold Wake Press in 2013. She has a BA in Creative Writing and Behavioral Psychology from Western Michigan University and received her MFA in Poetry at Emerson College. Her work appears in Cider Press Review, PANK Magazine, The Aurorean, The Comstock Review, Poetry Quarterly, Line Zero, Thrush Poetry Journal and elsewhere. She was a 2009 Academy of American Poets Prize recipient, a Pushcart Prize nominee and a St. Botolph Emerging Writer Grant nominee. She currently teaches writing and literature in Boston, MA.

2 responses to “Couple’s Therapy”

  1. Mag Gabbert says:

    Ugh, I just love this.

  2. Tess says:

    a gift clearly mined from the depths, You came back from those depths with gifts…sad but powerful. Thank you – for you spoke my truth too

Leave a Reply to Tess Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *