Stage

 

 

 

 

 

 

Patient After-Visit Summary
an erasure
I.

birth……a partial reason for
intensive unspecified dependence

you were bipolar and
…………………………..borderline

a moderate treat

you may have no
additional……………use

II.

currently in self-psychosis

after initial
appropriate…..planned marriage

insomnia due to infidelity
with no lost sexual interest

a prior history
…………………of moving elevations

traits of a woman
…………………………..worsening

III.

what are emotions
………..but self-medication

she did drink
………..contradictions

thoughts…….cause shame

and……awareness

and……affairs

they are her enemies as needed
IV.

she is beginning to step
outside………her history

and view her self rather
than her patterns of mood

V.

medication……an acute
………..fundamental concern

please confirm discontinuing
drugs or direct……sunlight

or damp places

VI.

a habit of replacement

a chewing cessation

keep your medicine list confident

VII.

only use your
…………most recent
…………………………mouth

.

.

Intricacies

I watched you sharpen
a knife for so long it became
thin as a cat’s leg. You said
it would be best for paring
a ribcage from skin & I asked
…….whose skin?

*

I have a habit
of walking through theaters
with a plate of raw meat.
I beg people to try the swordfish.
Only the swordfish.
…….It’s firm
I promise & hand you
your utensils.

*
In bed, you pull me close
by the shoulders. I say things like
…….I want to possess you—
…….I need to drag
…….my lips through your spine—
In reply, you tongue my ear & whisper
…….fuck me please god just fuck me.

*

I only ever drink wine
when you assure me
it will taste like metal.
Let’s toast. To iron.
To copper.
To the scabs we ate
as children.

*

We can never make nice.
I’m always prying open mouths
& you order me to close them.
Cradling your own hangnails,
you dream of sucking a girl’s hand.
It will taste of kerosene.

*

When my house caught fire,
you laughed at my arsonist guesses.
…….It was me this time. Screw
…….your piano
you told me. It lay hunched in ash.
But I picked up an intact key & said
…….think of all the wolves
…….I can carve now.
…….Imagine all their new grins.

.

.


Paige Quiñones received her MFA from the Ohio State University in May 2016, and she currently works there as a senior English lecturer. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Muzzle Magazine, Southeast Review, Winter Tangerine Review, and McSweeney’s. You can find her at @PaigeQuinoneszs.