How to Care for a Narcissist
He calls again to say he’s upset I’m making it
difficult for him to feel close to her. How I
conjure this dissonance—his burled timbre
filling my ear, his want too easily at home.
Of course, it’s his erection in the door
I’m trying to close, muscle memory
pushing in. O, the charm. I’m all out of awe.
He’s voracious. Carrot & stick, his lashing
out. I mute the phone, ignore his texts
& finally block his number. Sure, I’ll miss
the sex: his eyes, my eyes reflecting
pools—you & more you.
Tanya Grae is the author of Undoll (YesYes 2019), a National Poetry Series finalist. Her poems and essays have appeared or are forthcoming in AGNI, Ploughshares, American Poetry Review, Prairie Schooner, Post Road, and other journals. Grae lives in Tallahassee and teaches at Florida State University while finishing her PhD in creative writing.