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Dear Reader,

I’ve been simplifying

As best I can

Often my mind still feels

Like an attic full of old memories.

I’m reading,

More and more.

Last night

I lounged in the bath

Reading The Bell Jar;

She wrote about

How she loved baths

And remembered

The ceiling

Of every bathroom she’d bathed in

And the type of tub she soaked in

And all the little details

Like the feet of the tub

And type of faucet.

Details are important.

I’m one year and five days dry,

Dear Reader.

I no longer worry

About forgetting

To scrub the red wine stain

From my lips

Before driving

Obediently

To work.

Even so

Most days

I’m struck with

A heavy anxiety

As I make the long walk

Down the carpeted hallway

To my desk

In their office.

My guts form a hard ball

And my heart tries to escape

Out my throat

Even as,

On automatic,

I greet him

With a cheerful

“Good morning.”