Alan Catlin

The Transfusion

If she had been
a fictional character
she would have
been Sally Bowles,
her soul sucked dry
by vampires of amour,
her spirits restored
by a raided medicine
chest of uppers, downers,
in betweeners popped
on shifts, before and
after, sucked down
with chilled thermos
cups of imported vodkas
and a masking colored
juice, a queen’s ransom
of alcohol and drugs
ingested every day
of her life even with
the nursing license
on the line, “You don’t
understand what its
like,” She says, “After
that plane crash when
I was a student nurse
trying to administer
aid to the dead and
dying on the scene,
body parts everywhere,
that belonged to no one,
living a nightmare that
never ends so that, now,
whenever I hear a siren
I want to scream.”
So they give her duty
in ER, vacant eyes locked
in a perpetual thousand
yard stare, moving among
the injured wearing a
cloak of doom, a wired
free agent doing field work
for a Master’s Degree in Death.

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