Fall 2010 / Issues / Poetry 2010 / Volume 41

She Holds Me In a Vial — Jason Bradford

I wanted to be a vet, said the phlebotomist

when I asked

if she always dreamed of drawing

human blood:

like a Pollock of phlebotomy existed.

Animals make better patients,

she continued, they don’t cry,

while scratching around in a drawer

for the butterfly needle

needed to perform my venipuncture,

since neuromuscular diseases

cause muscles to spasm,

like my twitching tongue,

might indicate Mad Cow

to the medically challenged spectator,

but caution to the phlebotomist

as she plugs the insect’s thorax into my hand.

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