Needlepoint

 

She reached across and stuck the needle in

didn’t feel around for the vein

didn’t stop

to see

if it hurt.

 

The plunger went down,

I went down with it.

Sank to the bottom

and walked along the vein

feeling the pressure of all

the blood behind me.

 

Looking up

she was just sitting there, turned round,

the outline of her back

– that familiar outline –

felt too familiar

so I pulled the needle out.

 

When the blood stopped

beading, I asked her

if she knew that it had hurt

and it turns out that she had already forgotten.

 

The needle back in her hand,

she apologised neatly,

those bright blue eyes

watching me over the frame of those dusty rose glasses,

reaching for another dose.

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