The needle hits the deltoid with a moon-cold urgency;
its jolt of fluid is ice barely thawed. Relax โ€“ 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 roadsideโ€™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 balloonโ€™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 โ€“ Poetry at UEA. Her pamphlet Things Only Borderlines Know is published by Black Rabbit Press. She tweets as @livtuckwrites