The Psychologist

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She leaves an arm on the mantelpiece
and scatters fingers in the flour.
From the door jamb hangs his severed
head. A foot rests near a cash register,
close to a scale. Buy in bulk and save
a lot, but not a life. Rosemary’s Baby
& Childcare Center arises in the den,
conveniently adjacent to the electric
chair and pained occupant. The girl

in her bunny slippers roams around
the room with her half face, stuffed
animal clutched to her side. The book
cracked open to the page detailing
proper lobotomy procedure, relevant
tools at the ready, but decidedly
unsterilized. Rusted. Dull. Unlike
our hostess with her graduate degrees
in psychology, adolescent practice,

and encyclopedic knowledge of rock.
An invitation scrawled on the side
of a bottle of Thorazine, the toe tag
party favor listing my cause of death
as tedium and itemizing the contents
of my purse: Chapstick, g-tube, tenacity,
pen. We sip green from 60 cc syringes
and remember the Foo Fighters show.
This psychologist drapes me in death
as she teaches me how live.

September 2013
Julie Ayers

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