The Paris Review

Poetry Rx: Lie to Yourself, What You Will Lose Is Yourself

In our column Poetry Rx, readers write in with a specific emotion, and our resident poets—Sarah Kay, Kaveh Akbar, and Claire Schwartz—take turns prescribing the perfect poems to match. This week, Kaveh Akbar is on the line.

Illustration by Ellis Rosen.

Dear Poets,

My seventy-two-year-old mother used to wake up early every day and text me the weather so I could dress accordingly before I left for work. I’m twenty-seven years old and—I am proud to admit—fully capable of checking the weather myself. But despite my repeated protests, my mother texted me daily anyway. She passed away suddenly in late February. We shared so many quirky traditions that feel lost to me now.

I was wondering: Do you have a poem that might speak to these small gestures of love, either from the perspective of what it’s like to give them or to receive

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