Blood Poetry

Written by William Fargason.

This poem first appeared in Glass: A Journal of Poetry.

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Blood Poetry

When she asks which arm, I point

            to my right, but she takes my left, turns it

back and forth in the light, tells me I have

            many strong veins, so that’s where

she sticks me. I clench both fists

            even though I only have to tighten one,

and to take my mind off the needle

            she asks me what I do, so I tell her poetry,

and she says she loves poetry, her bleach-tipped

            hair blending with the fluorescent light

behind her head. She asks me to recite

            something, anything, to pass the blood time,

and she’s on the second vial at this point,

            but I barely make it to the third stanza

of “Ode to a Nightingale” before forgetting

            the rest, so I say sorry. She asks if

she can recite something she wrote, her eyes closing

            as she begins, which makes me nervous

for several reasons, and then she goes

            and goes on at a lightening pace, something

and something about love and it not working

            out, it’s beautiful, and we are on the fourth vial

now, one of her hands on the half-full

            crimson tube and the other waving in the air,

and I have never felt so much pain and pleasure

            at the same time, listening to her pummel out

her story of falling into and out of love,

            and when she finishes speaking her poem

into the air and all is silent again, I want to clap;

            but one of my arms still has a needle inside it,

and the other is still clenched in a cold sweat.

By William Fargason

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January 30, 2023 7:02 pm

I love the gentle humor of this poem, the sudden burst of passion from the woman. A funny and touching piece

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