If I donate my blood, will you miss it?

Liz Harms

Australia's Red Cross is testing tools that use infrared lighting to detect
the location of a patient’s veins and project an image of them onto the skin.


We rubbed our blood together once, 

me and the boy who lived across the river. 


I tripped climbing down from his tree house

so he cut his arm with a stick 

I cried in the roots until his blood hit mine. 

We didn’t care that it made our skin sticky

Or that we would have to explain

our war wounds to his mother. 


We didn’t know that our bodies were designed to fit together. 

That biology or grand design or evolution had

made us puzzle pieces. 

We just knew it hurt when they put that river 

between us.


We were a tangle of veins and organs and muscles

someone had separated and packed into 

two different sheets of flesh. 

We wanted to unwind the knots inside our skin

and string them back together. 


We tried everything to see inside. 

to find the end knot, the line on the open roll of tape, the pull string

that would explode our skin like parachutes

so we could float our fragments into the other.


Liz Harms is the editor of the Applause literary journal at the University of Arkansas—Fort Smith, where she studies Rhetoric and Writing. Her poetry has appeared in Do South Magazine.