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

Red Sea

for the broken-hearted

I married Moses.
He wasn’t Moses when I married him;
He was Pharaoh’s hand.

I married Moses
before something else touched him
before his holy brand.

We made plans
for progeny and pyramids,
to visit foreign land,

to cross the sea,
to be free,
but not like this,

NOTHING LIKE THIS.
I married Moses before we knew
the meaning of his name.

Roof Access

Remember the day we spent with the ravers?
They led us, single file, under timers, over lasers

to the roof– the naughtiest thing you and I had ever done.
We waited for alarms that would never come.

They pulled a bong from a backpack.
We declined and watched their flame sail and slack

in the wind. I calculated the cost of this caper:
A fine? A permanent mark on my paper.

You wouldn’t look at me, why?
Your eyes skipped the river to the city, adulthood, the sky

as the call of a coxswain floated up to us.
We did not have the vocabulary to discuss

the ways we were choosing to cross that river:
team rower, solo sailor, tourist cruiser.

 


 

Word Prompt: caper

The One

Imagine all the bottles
we’ve used and discarded,

the ones dropped
into recycling bins,
or the rubbish,
the ones rolling
around under
passenger seats,
the ones squashed
in our show of strength,
the ones tossed into childhood closets,
caught between moth-balled gowns & memories.

Imagine one of those bottles
became aware and asked,
What am I doing here?
Why am I empty?

 


 

Word Prompt: bottle