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Diagnosis in Oblique

by kristiana reed

A threshold has been met / the nurse / a warm voice / apology thick in throat / states a threshold has been met / whether I stand / crawl / or transform / my silence / silent weeping is evidence enough

of how the brain develops / or does not / an image of grey-black / these are the childhood memories you should have had / the nurse / then therapist / refers to adverse childhood experiences / an ace

and I think of cards / playing / how I cannot shuffle without losing all fifty-two / this I’m sure is a metaphor / for picking up / for rearranging what remained / from a time I remember / and do not

yet wonder if naming it is a waste / of time / of healing / because things are easier when the truth does not exist / a therapist / a warm voice / alludes to change / to the opportunity of becoming / of knowing

beyond the night terrors / the faceless woman / who clamps her jaw around my wrist / sinks her teeth into my hand / soft flesh tingling with liminality / the lucid / the disturbing limbo in which I exist / even when awake /

I am something I have always known / still someone I cannot call by name / because I blink / open / open wide / deer in headlight / see myself as an offering / something to be given / given and used and altered / a body carrying the world in its skin / a mirror to all I have

sinned /

a threshold has been met.


Kristiana Reed (she/her) is a writer and freelance editor. She is the Editor in Chief for Free Verse Revolution, a literary & arts magazine and has self-published two poetry collections, Between the Trees and Flowers on the Wall. Reed often explores the body, illness, addiction recovery and womanhood through the natural world and written portraiture. Her work has been recently published by Querencia Press, Nightingale & Sparrow and is forthcoming in Vocivia Magazine, Issue 03: CYBERSCRIPT. You can follow her on Instagram @kristiana.reed


Image by Bree Anne
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