David Ebenbach


My psychiatrist eats the sleep
from the corner of his eye. Wears
a headset like a Time-Life operator,
a busy pink tie, sometimes does fall asleep
for a fluttering moment. Takes texts
from the lobby. My psychiatrist
pokes at the keyboard on his lap, arranging
for my medication. He tells me about
his family—his son in the next office,
and appointments get confused. That's why
he's late. His sister a doctor, his cousins,
everyone doctors for generations. He says,
I don't know why I want to go on
about this
, and then remembers
it's because of a movie. The next patient,
or the one after, finally knocks. I can hear
the aggravation in it. Hundreds of miles away
my mother is dying very slowly,
almost like she doesn't want to.
My psychiatrist asks me
to open the door; he can only
get up with a cane.

David Ebenbach is the author of a new book of poetry called We Were the People Who Moved (Tebot Bach, winner of the Patricia Bibby Prize) and a chapbook of poetry called Autogeography (Finishing Line Press). In addition, he is the author of two collections of fiction—Between Camelots (University of Pittsburgh Press, winner of the Drue Heinz Literature Prize and the Great Lakes Colleges Association's New Writer Award), and Into the Wilderness (WWPH, winner of the Washington Writers' Publishing House Prize)—and a non-fiction exploration of the creative process called The Artist's Torah (Cascade Books). He has a PhD in psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MFA in writing from Vermont College, and he teaches creative writing at Georgetown University. Find out more at davidebenbach.com.

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