Phlebotomy is a bloody word.
I fear her stub-nailed, soap-smell rub,
flapping her rubber fingers, she pinches
and pecks at my flesh. Blue creeks fork
my arm. Like blood, she has me surrounded,
sshh sshh, mimicking seas. The room is blue
like her dress, my veins, the coast-crumpled
hospital windows. Stopped-breath, panic-blues.

The bottles smile and twist, demand red.
SSssSShhh SsssSShhh, she comes to drain me,
mouthfuls of milk-nausea. I sicken,
writhe in reptilian hands. Tourniquets,
strangling asps. The needle grins,
sucks blood-lights on Corridor 5
and I’m swimming these miles of bleachy blues,
needling my way to the exit.


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