Diagnosis by Talia Bloch


Because I could not, the flowers in my doctor’s office
Red tulips the size of goblets. Lilies that filled the room
+++++++with a deathlike scent.
Each week another bunch freed from cellophane stood
on narrow stalks and draining the vase with gusto.
+++++++I stared
out the window, not sure of how to right myself on my
+++++++narrowed ledge
of purpose, the illness unnamable, but real. The mind
about like a foreign body. So much time lost to indecision.
+++++++Longing bloomed
in my chest, crowding out all breath. The doctor offered
+++++++words that spilled
over me in a torrent, but did little to console.
+++++++Long ago,
I remembered, when I was six, I knocked over a vase
+++++++of pussy willows
that had been standing on the dining room floor.
+++++++Water pooled
everywhere and rage bloomed in my mother’s face
all words and draining my veins of will.



Talia Bloch’s poetry has appeared in The Antioch Review, The New York Quarterly, Poetry International, The Southeast Review, The Southern Review, and elsewhere. In 2014, she received an Editors’ Prize for Emerging Poets from Pleiades magazine, and her manuscript Leaving Home has been short-listed for several awards. Talia has also written for such publications as The Brooklyn Rail, The Forward, and The Jerusalem Report.