Medusa in the Emergency Room

By Cade Leebron

Call me Curly-Q for the swirled snake
IV line spiraling out of my upper arm.

Nothing perfect ever ends, or that’s a lie
I’m okay hanging out with. It’s late

here in Middletown, it’s unspecific.
His hands tap fake drum beats to get

the drip rate just right, love tastes
like prednisone. In the hospital a trainee

makes me waterfall all over the room. Gore
is a biohazard, and he misses the best

parts. I tell it to him after, like: you should
have seen her face! My arm was a spout,

his hands are like drums, lately neither
of us feels real. I call him Curly-Q for

the way his hair loops around and around
his face like a snake. We’ve become

something unspecific, same as this town
that probably exists in almost every state.

I rename it Diagnosisland and like our love
or a stretched-out vein, it lasts forever.

Cade Leebron lives in Columbus, OH. She holds an MFA from The Ohio State University, where she served as an editor at The Journal. Her work has appeared in The Boiler, American Literary Review, Electric Literature, and elsewhere. She exists online at, and on Twitter, @CadeyLadey.