Therapist-Survivor – by Natalie Jill

I’m a therapist
my client telling me
that sometimes this is
like the dentist
a place you come
to feel pain, knowing it’s
the only way to
let someone in
to reveal what is
raw and you trust
everything you fear
tilted backwards
jaw wide, hands gripping
the chair, therapist
prodding, needling
and you are simply
in prayer until
relief comes
and you walk out repaired

I’m a survivor, hearing
all the ways of therapy:
a chamber of torment
where you need
love, learn theft as
progress, instructed to
strip all the way
naked, reaching
scrubbing off
a nightmare
till you can’t see your
arms clasp anything but
the unanswerable one
she finds the spot
longing for violation
she has you
not belonging to yourself
and you walk out ruptured

Natalie Jill’s most recent work has appeared or is upcoming in Free State Review, Atlanta Review, Sugar House Review, and Unleash Lit. She is a member of the PoemWorks community in the Boston area.