This time I chose not
to avert my eyes.
The man in blue scrubs
laid out four
collection tubes.
I looked at
the size of them,
looked at my arm
and decided to watch.
The vein was hard
to find
but gave generously.

I'd been afraid
that watching
would make me
feel faint.
What I felt was
a deep reverberation
when he pulled
the last tube
off the needle:
the force
of a current turned
back on itself.

Not the volume of blood,
but its turbulence,
each tube in turn—
between stoplights, and during
dinner with my son.
The gushing.
The black, black red.