In Sanguine Veritas This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

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She bends toward the light –
a serpent with her arms outstretched and
her torso twisted
I watch her spine untangle beneath her skin
as the muscles lining her bones expand
I wonder what it is she reaches for
Her mouth is sewn shut
She is forty-five years old but still a child,
she is lost here, in this world of bending
and contorting
Three children have escaped her womb
and her joints have slowly fused themselves
back together
as if her body is the Earth
and all the plates are crashing into one another
Hemochromatosis –
that was the diagnosis that stole her limbs
when she tore the life from her body under the sterilized blade of the scalpel
That was when the blood stopped working
and her womb was empty,
one ovary left to demarcate the space in which life was once created
We all knew the space where her womanhood
had been
and when we leaned in close to kiss her,
we could smell the iron on her skin
No, there was no answer
not for a long time.
We all watched her as she grew sick
the iron was there, hiding,
but there was no answer for the pain,
only mis-diagnosis
She bent until her hands were swollen
but the culprit was in the meat
and her flesh stretched under the weight
of the pain
and youth showed itself as a fleeting phenomena
She lost five years in waiting rooms –
waiting for the epiphany that might return
her days
There was a silence in the findings,
a subtle acknowledgment to a faulty gene
carried by her mother,
gifted by her father,
and she wept the first time they drained the
blood from her
No longer could we smell the iron on her breath
but the resentment still lingered
like an ugly animal
limping on three legs
its own flesh rotting as it drew closer.

This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






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