She says she had a baby
but I don’t believe her
Let me tell you the feeling
of relief when I started to believe her
baby wasn’t real
“What’s she getting out of it?”
I surrender without a fight
Ok, you can have your baby
Sometimes all you can do is reify your worst fears
What if I can’t have healthy relationships
With anything
Even your cat
Undressing in the open window
Like being in public
Is it not knowing or not caring?
I’m offended reading memoir advertised as essay
I give a mini-lecture on insecure attachment
from the living room
As if to ask
Is that what you wanted?
Who you think I am
Improving my senses
You see I was siding with the baby

Ali Power, “Phantom.” Copyright © 2018 by Ali Power. Used by permission of the author for PoetryNow.
Source: PoetryNow (2018)