SHOCK By Christopher Kuhl


The smooth, dark wave of sleep—
but it’s not so smooth:

I struggle as they start the IV
of anesthesia, hold an oxygen mask
over my nose and mouth,

and I fight while the nurse, stroking my hair,
says, deep breaths, it’ll be okay,
count back from ten—

her voice calling from a distance, and
I never know how far I get:

the black sleep is all, until suddenly, I hear
another distant, loud voice:
my shock treatment is over; it’s okay,

as another nurse slips my naked feet into my
socks and shoes again, and I cannot
tell you, do not know

who or what I am, except humiliated
by my convulsing toes: when they stop

it means the shock is complete. (I know this
only because someone—a cold doctor,
a compassionate nurse, told me so…)

I could cry if I weren’t so ashamed.

By Christopher Kuhl


In 2014, Chritopher Kuhl’s poems were selected to be published as an individual chapbook by Red Ochre Press. Christopher has been published in Big Muddy, Burningword Literary Journal, California Quarterly, Carbon Culture Review, Crack the Spine, Edison Literary Review, Euphony, Forge Journal, Prairie Schooner, The Anglican Digest, and The Critical Pass Review among others. Christopher earned a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and one in music composition, as well as two masters of music degrees and a PhD in Interdisciplinary Arts. His other interests include studying higher mathematics and classical Greek and Hebrew, as well as drawing and painting with acrylics.

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