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The Draw

Tiffany Midge

There must be a name for it,
my sensual preoccupation
with the phlebotomist-in-training,
some fetish or disorder, a sanguine fixation,
because when his brown hands
(so soft)
introduce their warmth to my skin,
and despite my veins mere targets
to excavate, flesh diminished to doll parts,
blood just a pool from which to draw,
an attendant science—
despite this, I am a devoted patient,
one who considers needles
a kind of love charm, instruments
of affection, because it’s been years
since I’ve been touched,
except in this way, in a clinic’s room
white as sugar, and it’s been years
since anyone has drawn my blood,
eased my heart’s gravity, finessed
its submission, except in this way—
his hands
(so soft)
grazing the inside of my elbow,
the tourniquet stretched taut, jaws
waking the vein, that blue pulse,
and then the pop, the sucking,
the pull, a kind of kiss, the clench
of fist, a whisk of tape and gauze
as I descend, become an opened
palace, a collision of vessel
and nerve, when hours later
the results appear: the needle’s
sharp bite, its rigid tension,
the blistering afterglow
a concupiscent bruise that lingers
(so soft) for days.

Tiffany Midge

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