i’m told i need blood tests by alyssa hanna

since a stranger broke into my house and left
fingerprints on the windows i haven’t known
the difference between home and empty oyster shell

my eyes do this thing now where i can see my pulse
my capillaries bringing fresh air to my pupils
yet they refuse to dilate when i’m on the road

the nurse takes my blood pressure and says it’s a little high
the doctor takes my blood pressure and says it’s gone higher since
she tells me to relax, that the strangling of arms is necessary for my health

i tell her about the invasion and she says that could be why i
cannot stop the constant carnage of rough pounds
that the grip on my pulmonary system could be too tight

she asks if there were fingerprints and tells me i need blood tests
“in case he left something in there, let’s get this done
so we won’t have to worry about that part anymore”

i had forgotten to worry about that part before


alyssa hanna’s poems have appeared in Reed Magazine, The Mid-American Review, The Naugatuck River Review, Rust + Moth, Pidgeonholes, and others. She was nominated for a Pushcart Prize, a finalist in the 2017 James Wright Poetry Competition, and a semi-finalist for The Hellebore scholarship. alyssa is a Contributing Editor at Barren Magazine and an aquarium technician in Westchester, living with her four weird lizards. follow her @alyssawaking on twitter, instagram, ko-fi, tumblr, and patreon.

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