Like Blood Loves the Veins

Posted on January 27, 2023 by Jonathan Greenhause
Jonathan Greenhause

The dialysis technician expounds upon vegan cuisine, upon how to destroy a pesky zombie while limping

& cradling a baby goat, how humans aren’t designed 
to ingest milk from cows or to process

high fructose corn syrup.  Lesson learned.  Now she traces the blood’s twisted path from my father’s arteries

through tubes circling ’round buttons & levers, 
passing along filters & pumps.  I understand little,

start to sweat as she wryly remarks 
a pop quiz will follow.  My dad’s hands are swollen,

the blood beneath his nails recently cleaned by my mom. Those fingers rise like 5 oblong suns,

his signal for more ice, his lips craving to be kissing 
a freshwater lake; but the doctor’s orders

keep his tongue desert dry: He’s still bleeding, peptic ulcers beset by infection, his transfused blood leaking.  Still,

how could life complain for having lived?  Of course, 
we have an absolute right to thirst for more days, to bemoan

an epilogue come too early.  The technician disconnects 
the tubes, tidies up, wheels away her machinery,

says that for her birthday her daughter drew a picture 
of zombies wreathed in flowers, confides

she loves her like blood loves the veins, leaves my father 
on this sterile precipice from which our view appears endless.

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