'Motve 2' by Jim Davis-Rosenthal
Motive 2, Jim Davis-Rosenthal, 1999.

 

 

Lot’s Wife to Her Therapist
Christal McDougall

 

My body will tell half the story.

My legs shut tight
against your voice, the way you look
across that desk. My fingers are locked
and hot and wet. If I say nothing
happened, you’ll know. If I squint,
I can see the neighbors’ pool
above their lawn, the plaid dress I wore
for the photographer, a picture
he displayed in his window
to illustrate his taste in girls.

Your voice is soft, wants me to answer,
to shut my eyes. Go deeper. Push, you say.
You reach across your blotter, the phone,
the rolodex of other basketcases
like me, take my hand, say, You’re not even
trying. What can I do to help
if you won’t help yourself ?

By then I’m in tears, I taste salt.
I want nothing more than to know why
after all these years of being strong,
solid, uniform, why now I’m a puddle
on your linoleum. Your arms
circle me, mouth at my ear,
and suddenly, my father’s
erection pushing against my tiny
underpants, my mother’s quiet stare
in the corner, fixing dinner, something
to eat when he was done, covered with sweat,
hair matted to the sides of his head,
and me, a folded pile
of clothing at the pillow.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Text © 1996, 1999 by Christal McDougall
"Lot’s Wife to Her Therapist" first appeared in Many Mountains Moving, Volume II, Number 2. The work appears here by permission of the author.


Original Graphic Image, "Motive 2" © 1999 by Jim Davis-Rosenthal


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