by Julia Rox —
You said once that the blood bank
was the most romantic place
you could meet someone. I always
thought maybe there was something
to that, something true about being
surrounded by the exposed matter
our hearts are made to move.
I actually don’t know if you said that,
your brother told me you did, and
this is not even the blood bank.
However, it is your blood
I imagine as I watch my blood
move up through the tube into
the machine, and back into my vein
again, my fist pumping in time to
the silent mouths moving in unison
on the TV’s mounted in rows around the room.
There is a western playing and the cowboy
is talking to the girl in the corseted dress.
They are arguing and they are making up
from the argument and he is kissing her and
they are both making it count this time.
We never argued like that and
we were never that romantic, really,
except once when we lived in New York City,
a man gave us fifty dollars and told us to
do something good with it. We didn’t tell anyone,
we just each pocketed twenty,
and used the rest to buy sangria for our
roommates, which we drank most of.
Nothing was ever sweeter than our mouths—
blood red, and laughing.