I don’t know how to
take care of myself—
I have to ask you for instructions.

What do you see that I need?
I am sure this is going to cost me—
I know the need is blinding: You, me.

Is it pantomime to hold my arms around
the shape your arms make of me when
you sense I need comforting?

Is it hysterical to stand inside the hoop your
arms, marking my place while you make
coffee and important calls?

Looking through my interior pane:
Do I have anything to offer this
consultation of knives?

I don’t roll for myself little plates of
warm, wet towels to kind my hands.
Who will?

What a relief to sit and look out at
you, waiting to hold me, once I’ve
soothed myself into waking.

EMILY BORGMANN (they/them) is a poet, essayist, and writing educator. They are the recipient of an Academy of American Poets Prize, a Nebraska Arts Council Fellowship in Literature, and a Champion of Youth advocacy award. Emily’s writing has appeared in such journals as Waxwing, Copper Nickel, The Laurel Review, and Green Mountains Review.

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