She spikes, pricks, probes and needles bruised flesh above his finger bones. Her hooded eyes look upon the hands she cradles in her latex gloves. She feels the tremor and works gently up his arm, punctures his skin repeatedly, tries to reach the faint, green line of vein and finally sinks into the soft nook of his elbow, locating blood as it rises into the needle.
58 minutes in; at last, a vein. He lays like a stunned animal, snagged in the trap; bowed head shot to pieces.
His pearl-speckled skull; a winter of sparse follicles, a fine fur-frost on crown and ridges. His face a stack of bladed-bones. She touches his jaw and asks him if he is ‘ok?’ Her fingers are a hush of prayers; she cannot hear his whisper from dried, pursed lips. He is the light of the world, candling low. The throb persists. She opens a bottle of Oromorph, a film of liquid at its rim. It is administered to the mouth with a syringe.
Inky-black shapes of his soul swim across retina; the blind bliss of a dark world under ice. He gazes in the direction of the minute stem of cardinal blood in the needle.
Matthew M.C. Smith is a Welsh poet from Swansea. He is published in Anti-Heroin Chic, Wellington Street Review, Back Story, Other Terrain and Wales Haiku Journal. Matthew is the editor of micropoetry journal www.blackboughpoetry.com.