Thursday, January 29, 2009

Winter Blood

Snow, then rain, then the cold night, and now ice glazes the road. The sky's tears have sculpted the snow on either side of the path. In the bright sun, it shines like sea foam frozen in place. I walked along the path through the woods, where the normally dark ground gleamed silver and white with ice and snow.

At the end of my road stood the glass doors of the SAC. I went in, checked some boxes, signed my name. A series of blonde matrons pricked my finger, cleaned my arm, stuck a piece of shining metal into a vein. Then I lay back, and blood began trickling through the tubing. I have never seen anything quite the color of blood. Wine? Too thin. The ruby I saw in a glass case at a museum? Too bright. The flesh of the blood orange? Too luminous. The blood was alive, but not lively. It was viscous, dark, secretive. It didn't belong in translucent tubing, exposed to the light; my blood belonged in veins, flowing through a million divisions in the darkness. I watched the dark red liquid rise in the hanging sack, until finally it was full.

The nurse came back, severed me from the sack full of blood that was no longer mine, led me away, fed me cranberry juice and oreos. Then I put on my red coat, and went back out the glass doors, into the cold.

The sun had set long ago, while the blood was still warm from my veins. Now the sky was dark, the air brutal. The snow glowed in the pale moonlight. The moon was the sliver of a smile that hung under a black circle, barely visible against the deep blue sky. Walking through the woods, I couldn't feel that I had lost blood, and it seemed strange that part of me could vanish from my very veins, and not be missed. The snow shone the same way, the ice shimmered the same way, the air froze my skin the same way. What else have I lost, and forgotten?

Back my room, soon enough, I shed the red coat, and forget the ice and the blood. Outside, the moon kept still its Mona Lisa smile.

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