brook house 4

By Kelsey Bryan-Zwick

Standing against the light of entryway
the nurse says, “Its for the vampires
downstairs in the basement.”
after I ask for the umpteenth time
why they have to keep drawing blood

It’s 2 a.m. and the blood pressure machine
makes my arm go limp the way it
squeezes and I know she’s right
cuz I’m eleven and know more about vampires

Than I can process the outcome
of another anemia test, the three pints
waiting for me in the freezer, the oxygen
itchy in my chapped nostrils
the little red-polka dot
pin-point needle marks

I’m that thirsty now, could drink it down
full and warm like hot cocoa

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