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"At Therapy in the Rain" by E.C. Gannon

In the corner chair of the cashmere office,

I tuck my legs under my body and repeat

something about the 844 picnickers who died

when their lake cruiser overturned in twenty

feet of water on the Chicago River. This therapist

of mine, she says that’s a tragedy for another

time and asks if I’ve been meditating and

writing in my journal nightly. I say yes, and

I’ll even share an excerpt. I stand on the chair,

which sags under my weight, and read something

about a fitness instructor who was killed

by a falling bookshelf, and this therapist

doesn’t laugh like she’s supposed to,

doesn’t smile, even, just wraps her cardigan

around her body and says it’s about time

for me to talk about my mother. I say only

if satire is allowed. Surprise, surprise: it’s not.

She asks me if that girl who stopped responding

to my calls ever answered, and I say no,

and I’ll probably grow old and haggard

by myself, and one day I’ll splat face-first

onto the linoleum in my one-bedroom, rent-

controlled apartment and someone will realize

I have died only after the hallway begins to reek

of decomposing flesh. She asks me if that’s

a possibility I often worry about. I say no,

I only ever worry about two things:

peanut butter congealing mid-esophagus

and my appendix bursting when I sneeze.

And claymation. I nightmare in claymation.

E.C. Gannon's work has appeared or is forthcoming in Assignment Magazine, The Meadow, Olit, and elsewhere. A New England native, she holds a degree in creative writing and political science from Florida State University.

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