From the Notes of Dr. Carlos G. J., Psiquiatra
Patient Number: zweizweidreizweisiebenocho
Patient Name: Blackbird, Blackbird
Date of Assessment: 13/13/20XX
Patient missiled through the window sans appointment. Graceful flutters, like chloroformed butterflies. But herky jerky landing. Patient knocked over my coffee then squawk-cried. Seemed overly apologetic. I maintained flat affect. I gestured the patient to take a perch. Patient continued to apologize until she asked “Are you the devil?” (note: transference; patient is difficult). Folded wings over breast, like a casket sleeper. I then asked my secretary for the intake forms.
Patient is birdshaped with a labyrinthine gait. Indiscernible wingspan, Phoenix-like but introverted and shockbrowed. Aquiline attractive, showbird beauty, though plumage disheveled and dirty and missing in scarshaped patches (note: avian trichotillomania?). Eyes and beak perpetually half-open, though eyes otherwise auburn and beady and thousand-yards-away.
What brings you here today?
I don't know. You can't help me.
I'm sorry, that was vulturistic. You seem nice.
But you can't help me. Ever since I hatched the galaxy has imploded. I've been trying to unhatch but the pieces of eggshell are now cold so I had to grow layers of feathers.
(note: attachment issues, possible separation anxiety; mother did not sufficiently regurgitate during formative years?) Tell me more about these layers.
Safety. If someone gets close I peck them away. Even if I want them close. Safety.
Do you get lonely? (note: This is a trick question. Birds don't get lonely. They're birds.)
Yes. Utterly. I sometimes get tempted to go up to the cumulonimbi but every time I've been there everyone's so cumulonimbic. I want them all but don't. Like engorged cocks in lead cotton candy.
Patient squawks apologies for the perceived vulgarity then flies into the corner. Our therapy does not resume for another seven months (note: patient is difficult; Axis II?) Follow up interview reveals patient builds nests out of poetry magazines (note: hoarding/OCD?) and only has sex during somnaviation. She says it would be like floating (note: dissociation) if not for her already being airborne. So instead “it's like being dead” (note: nymphomaniacal Cotard's?)
II. Free association
Test assessment: Failed. (Note: Patient is difficult.)
Please rate your level of physical discomfort:
 Uno/A splinter that has become gangrenous and wannabe-tumorous
 Dos/First epidermal layers abraded; soul completely abraded
 Tres/Shadow aspect complains of stomach pain, begins to fear the ego and thinks it should don a romper
[x] Cuatro/Romper or no, you've reached full tenebrosity [patient handwrites note: “NEVERMORE”]
Rate your attachment to reality:
 Attached and grounded.
 My arms/wings remind me to deny myself.
[x] This body is a cataclysm that I witness from a safe distance.
Rank the following needs by order of importance (from 1 to 7):
0 – Sex
0 – Food
7 – Love
0 – Shelter
7 – Acceptance
7 – Safety
8 – Education
IV. Arche/atypical Assessment
Pick and choose from the following; how many flavour combinations can you unlock?!
Event Figure Motif
la tormenta el chiflado el apocalipsis
la migración la virgen el diluvio
la vida el diablo la mexicanidad
el matrimonio el héroe la autoría
V. Dream analysis
Tell me about the last vivid dream you had.
I'm inside the night's core. It's clear but there's an overvoice made of someone's shadowed backbone, like spinal fluid and oil slick.
I'm flying. Gravity is a bad memory. I'm scared that if I stop flying I'll wake up and waking up means you die.
There's another bird here. I used to love this bird. He's a vulturehawk. He's terrible. I love him. He wants to fly with me and I want to fly with him but I don't know how his wings will fit in this cage.
No. We're not in a cage. What rhymes with 'cage'?
Stage. Yes. Stagestagestagestage. Ohnonono. We weren't flying. We were dancing.
(patient paces about the office corner, rests her head contra the palatable wallpaper collapse)
I don't have wings, do I? What good are these glass candy legs? I can't fly. Why did you make me think I could? You all make me believe things that aren't real. You're all the same.
Please commence your dreamscape. What happened next?
I woke up and I was a character in a book. And so are you. Let me go. (note: more transference; projection; patient is difficult; patient walks out of the office and rubbishes a wayward soul into the rubbish and never comes back)
Ruffled raven is actually a young woman with erisian hair and heartstrings.
Start on SSRI cocktail in bird feeder.
Recommend extended bed rest and high gluten diet.
Take away her keys.
Edwin Alanís-García is the author of the chapbook Galería (Ugly Duckling Presse, 2019). His writing has appeared or is forthcoming in The Acentos Review, The Kenyon Review, Periphery, and Tupelo Quarterly. He received an MFA in Creative Writing from New York University and is currently a graduate student in Philosophy of Religion at Harvard Divinity School.
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