• in_fragments 14w

    Yay for lifelong medical battles... cancer... autoimmune diseases... bloodwork and hospital appointments since childhood... at least I'm turning it all into something creative that feels worth something now. I'm not just a guinea pig anymore.
    #pod #poem #blood #work #medical #trauma #thoughts #mentalhealth #mentalillness #selfcare #recovery @miraquill @writersnetwork @writersbay

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    Blood Work

    A tourniquet, tied tightly
    around my arm once again
    as I squeeze my fist
    to find the perfect vein-
    tap it, watch it rise
    to the surface of my skin like a wire;
    clean the spot with alcohol,
    look away and prepare
    for the thousandth little pinch
    of the familiar and stoic needle...

    Blood pulls away from me
    into the doctor's long glass tubes-
    their syringe fills up with vibrant,
    vermillion liquid, sloshing up fast.
    I feel it pushing out of me,
    red soda sucked through a straw
    between two thirsty lips;
    after so many decades,
    the flow is recognizably rhythmic
    and draws the sanguine fluid out
    on beat; a little heart force,
    a pulsating sensation
    in the soft side of my right elbow-
    a little bit of draining, all up my arm;
    a piece of life being tugged away
    from me, later be used to create me.

    Switch out another cylinder,
    until I watch them fill up three-
    cover the spot with a cotton pad,
    with the needle still inside,
    then taken quickly out
    just as easily as it came in.
    There is an art to drawing blood,
    and every three months
    I am required to collaborate
    to create my own clean
    hemoglobin masterpieces-
    for under microscopes
    and through test tubes,
    you can measure every chemical
    and mutation inside, monitor
    the uncontrolled cells that make up
    your own personal madness.

    From now on, the needle is my pen,
    turning chronic illness into creativity,
    another long and deep well
    to draw from.

    My dried life force lies
    in between pages and poems,
    betwixt the tiles of childhood bathrooms,
    stained on old long sleeves.
    Emotions linger like dust
    in the silent spaces
    between language and thought.
    I am not gone. I have been in
    and out of test tubes for decades,
    in biohazard bins all across the coast,
    seen only by a privileged few
    who were smart enough to handle me.

    My artwork is the real blood work,
    the pen can suck me through it
    like a tiny medical needle
    and I spill my truths all over the canvas.
    You need blood to create art,
    so for the rest of my life,
    as I give myself continuously to tubes,
    and machines and medications
    and disorders- a lifelong battle,
    I've accepted my fate;
    the art is the only channel
    I have ever had for all that blood.
    A pen is a needle, gliding across
    white paper like skin,
    pushing words in with sharp tips
    that protrude from the page like veins.

    For my sanity, it's all the same to me.
    ©in_fragments