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.