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At the Center for Imaging
By Kiyoko Reidy
Stinging nettle mashed or dried, dandelion leaves with their bitter milk—steep in tea, add to salad, or prayer. In the waiting room, all the women are pregnant, and I am jealous. One moth clings to a lit bulb, its feet burning with light, tiny brain firing off with pleasure. The prefix mis— originally meant to change; now: ill, wrong, absence, negation. As though change flows only downstream, the direction of loss. My mother describes field dressing a deer in detail: winding through thick cords of intestine like combing a daughter’s hair. The snow dotted with birds, dark bodies against the white, While my organs flash like abstract art on the screen someone leans into the sky at the apex of the world’s tallest building seventy-five hundred miles away. Still, someone builds toward heaven, as though they’ve learned nothing. Still, we risk it—proliferation of language, the collapse into confusion. The technician with her mouth ajar asking when I’ll meet with the doctor. The other nurse in the room looking worried, or just exhausted. Only one man died building the Burj Khalifa—If we had known in advance, the building would have been built anyway. To call something an attempt is to admit failure. In front of me, the uterus. A dark bean on the ultrasound, set in the body’s center and cut through by a crease of light—my vanishing point.
Kiyoko Reidy is a poet from East Tennessee. She currently lives in Nashville with her partner and two dogs. Her poetry and nonfiction is published or forthcoming in the Cincinnati Review, RHINO, Sugar House Review, Missouri Review’s poem of the week, Creative Nonfiction’s Sunday Short Reads, and elsewhere.
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