blood lust

Clear tube fills,
dark blood swills
through a machine
that separates
red from the rest.

Without red cells,
blood is yellow
like the sunlight
filtering through
strip mall windows.

Men lie on beds,
women attend them.
Needles as hollow
as drainage ditches
dig into their arms,

drawing them
into a loop
with distant strangers,
these givers of life
to receivers unknown.

Word Prompt: lust


Buried Alive

Father a poet,
Mother a prophet,
Sister a painter,
What am I?

A puppy,
A pawn,
A people-pleaser,
my disguise from others.

I came to this planet
naked, unafraid and found
people swapped costumes
like playing cards.

A baby, A girl, A woman.
Mini, Miss, Ma’am.
Each a respectable role.
Each a code of behaviour.

But the customary dress
now gives me hives.
Do I disrobe & be deemed a liar,
or do I stay buried alive?



Word Prompt: Illusion


We learnt about tapeworms when we were 10,

Flat, foot-long parasites that caused skinny arms and itchy bottoms.


We looked for wriggling larvae in our stools,

inspected our school socks and Mary Janes.


We found nothing, but we got used to the idea that there were many animals

keen to get inside us and lay their eggs.


We imagined ourselves being eaten from the inside out,

so that when The Sex Talk came 2 years later,

we believed we were born to be hosts.



Word Prompt: taper