I gave my innocence to a psychiatrist

Abigail Mandlin

I gave my innocence to a psychiatrist—

let him strip me down, fill me up—
an affair behind closed doors, a quiet tryst—

It was long and arduous.

He didn’t touch me at all—
just let me spill my guts, tell my life story
to the tune of careful breaths, the clacking of keys—

I let him see all of me.

He reached in and felt around—
probed my soul, tore me down
until I felt hollow within,
until I had nothing more left to give.

A verbal dressing-down on the first date—
to question, to berate—
to press me, to ask me why I hadn’t been before,
to hold me under his thumb.

And I had nothing to say—nothing to offer—other than
“Sorry, sir, that it took me so long to come.”

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