Cathy, when you were a doctor
did you hate how our government bossed you,
how The Man just had to get his hand
in there? I need to know, Cathy. I'm scared. I wake up
counting my pills and the days I'll need my pills,
which are unknown, so let's call them endless.
I admit I wasn't living right.
I used myself roughly and I
drank milk and whiskey
and assumed these pleasures were normal.
I know--you've taught me to know--
my health is my responsibility. It is just
to blame myself for depending on the government,
just as I blame myself for choosing
the wrong profession.
Who thought that would work?
But I call this work, Cathy, I do.
I'm working right now, so hard,
writing you. It is work to consider
what a big job you have, and yet
it is not your job to meet me for coffee
or in the aisle, nor is it your job
to hear me, Kate Lebo,
above the throng I belong to,
(one woman on a block of women in a town of women--
half of whom will pass your seventh term snug
in victory, their favorite Cathy on the job)
but I wish we could get a drink
anyway. You might find me ready
for the doctor, ready
to confess. I already know
what you’ll say. Don’t hate
Hate what she represents.