Susan Kelechi Watson has played Denise “Mo” Chandler on Grey’s Anatomy since 2004, and now, on the eve of her memoir, We Rise Together, the actress-comedian is sharing a poem by Harlem Renaissance poet Gwendolyn Brooks that haunted her during the post-fame months after she became a household name. Read more in this week’s Modern Love podcast.

We Rise Together:

By Susan Kelechi Watson

At a moment when I was frozen, life would fall into two parts

after a brief release, the arrogance that had come with fame

would be stripped away, I would find it so easy.

Even with “Honey, don’t you remember me?” the people I used to call

were still there, at my side, teasing the little problems I had.

A golden ring was sitting on my finger, a wedding ring,

and I was itching to show it off.

My reflection was wearing me down, my heart weak,

loved ones forgot to check

on me again. After lunch that day it just screamed,

“I’m done”. I was done with my life. I was done with the public

I was done with how I was seen.

That was seven years ago, and I still miss that moment,

that step when my friends would see me with the ring and

they could still tell me what they thought of me,

I could tell them what I thought of them,

I could still feel that glow.

From Modern Love Podcast,

“When Cupid Is a Prying Journalist” appears in the Modern Love Podcast episodes You’re Not Alone and Watch What Happens: Live, broadcast on SiriusXM Insight channel 361.