How to Care for a Narcissist

Tanya Grae

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.