The needle hits the deltoid with a moon-cold urgency;
its jolt of fluid is ice barely thawed. Relax – sharp scratch.
I hold myself against this detergent-white light.
On the journey home, my pupils dilate:
for the first time in months, I can forecast
fruit, seasons away, ripe on the roadside’s empty trees.
Later, my upper arm tender as a windfall apple,
and a strange ache shining through my spine,
the sky ignites with dusk, and with it, I burn
as my lymphocytes rise up to meet me
like a hot air balloon’s surge of fiery breath,
to set me drifting far above the ruins of a country.
Olivia Tuck‘s poetry has appeared in several journals and webzines, and she is soon to begin an MA course in Creative Writing – Poetry at UEA. Her pamphlet Things Only Borderlines Know is published by Black Rabbit Press. She tweets as @livtuckwrites