Cognitive Reappraisal

Voluptuous nurses’ kitten heels and costumes appeal;
They echo down the halls, rebounding off the walls—
Click, click, cleavage.
The doctor’s forgotten to trim the URLs
Before framing his credentials,
Still, he knows enough to remind me
That nothing I say will remain confidential.
Asking about my childhood’s tantamount to obliging me, ‘turn your head
      and cough,’
Yet I comply, and lie
On long couches, accepting that the analyst behind me’s jacking off.
“I have split personalities, like being possessed by a witch.”
Naw, Auntie Eve, you’re just a three-faced bitch. Jack Nicholson clenches
       on the shitter, a shiv in his pocket
She’s on a mission from Jesus, but it’s a ward full of prophets.
Government’s convinced he’s telekinetic, they check him every
       fifteen minutes;
Piss tests in case he’s radioactive (It’s Incredible, they have no limits).
This isn’t any straightjacket, I’m pulling a Houdini—
Not seizing, but dancing the worm for a martini—
They bolt the doors
As if they can keep all the monsters in
(But Godzilla’s going to crush the whole fucking building).

— Emily Hamm, Madison, WI