Donating Plasma

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.