“I’m going to take some of your blood,”
the doctor announces
as though I’m not the great pontificator
or artist people said I would be as a kid,
but an organism
capable of endlessly replenishing
what it has lost.
The needle drains
and I focus on a stain on the wall,
remember my school trousers,
dried and crusted on grey
after the first girl I properly loved
emptied me down an alleyway.
Whatever happened to that Luke Morgan
I heard somebody recently say,
not considering the other ingredients—
sweat and tears—not asking
whether it’s fair how we’re defined
by what can be extracted from us.
I tell the doctor I might faint
and he lies me down
with my legs at an incline.
Sometimes, this is all it takes—
someone to put a hand on your pulse
as the hope caught
in the soles of your feet,
the time you were sure you’d wasted,
the love you feared you’d spilled
arrives tumbling back down to meet you
all at once.
LUKE MORGAN’s second collection, Beast, was published by Arlen House 2022 and described in the Irish Times as showing “a real ambition” with “striking, energetic imagination”. His debut, Honest Walls, was published in 2016. He lives in Galway. Twitter: @LukeMorganPoe