Ode to Injection-Site Reactions

I would say mottled but that’s not quite true.
Mottled is stormcloud, is sculpin, is pig iron.
You’re more like curdled, if skin were capable

of spoiling—ridged & risen & birthday-balloon
red, never the same two days in a row.

My MS specialist says driving the needle
deeper will lessen the rippling sting
of you (unless I hit muscle; then you’ll knell

through my arm for a week). She assures me
you’ll vanish one day. A phase, like the spangly

cowgirl boots I outgrew when I was nine.
We’re stuck a few more years in this uneasy
marriage, but the truth is, I’ve grown to love

you, my blood-twirlers. My little spider-bites.
Every time I press the plunger down, you throb

brave, brave, brave, & I believe you. You’re the proof.

“Ode to Injection-Site Reactions” – Emily Rose Co

Photo used under CC.

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About Author


Emily Rose Cole is a writer and lyricist from Pennsylvania, and the author of a chapbook, "Love and a Loaded Gun," forthcoming from Minerva Rising Press. She has received awards from Jabberwock Review, Ruminate Magazine, and the Academy of American Poets, and her poetry has appeared or is forthcoming in Nimrod, Spoon River Poetry Review, The Pinch, and Southern Indiana Review, among others. She holds an MFA from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and is currently a PhD student at the University of Cincinnati. Her web site is: emilyrosecolepoetry.com.

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