I Always Needed to be The Center of Attention

I didn’t know I always needed to be the center of attention,

the way the center of a circle doesn’t know it needs the circle

in order to be a center. I realized this tonight after asking myself

why it is I’m always so attracted to fashion model types,

and an insight came down the runway of my intuition

and whispered in my ear in slow motion that I’ve wanted

to be in the spotlight I’ve been behaving like pretty much all my life.

But now that I know this about myself, I think I’d like to try

not needing to be the only one in focus more often, though

I’m not sure I know how to do that, or even that I can know.

This is usually where the teacher shows up and flips you

into the next page of your journey, I tell myself,

but since I don’t have a teacher right now to dogear my ego for me,

and probably shouldn’t have one, considering I’m trying to

let go of this need for attention I’ve been talking about,

allow me to retreat behind the waterfall safety of simile when I say

I imagine not obsessing about wanting to be the center of

the universe would be a lot like waking up in the morning

and making someone other than myself a cup of coffee first,

which, if I’m being honest, reminds me of the last time I saw

my grandmother, unconscious and hooked up to a breathing

machine during her final hours.

Hovering over that memory now, I can see myself sitting beside

her again, trying, mostly because of the incessant promptings

of my ex, to find the words to say to her unresponsive body,

how sorry I was for not being there as much as I could have been,

and that I wish we’d had more time, when in truth it was her time

I was worried about not having any more of. I deserve to be alone.

Author: Chris Russell

Chris Russell holds an MFA in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts and lives in Concord, New Hampshire where he follows two paths: a calling as a poet, and an altruistic vocation as an education support professional.