in which many give blood, the odd pint, the occasional bag; the stranger few
drain gallons. Even fewer donate with such regularity that they have a central line
conveniently installed for extraction. Not that expedition and speed are what
is required. Blood is the matter that matters most. A semi-solid, semi-liquid mishmash.
Banking blood at the bank of blood. No penalty for early withdrawals. Bank with interest
and watch your proud veins swell with pride.
Bank for a future that will not be yours, but will come for others not you, banked from
years no longer on calendars, but etched, impressed, captured with each new needle’s
impression, homage to Richard Lower, first to transfuse blood from a large mastiff
to a smaller blood-drained dog of indeterminate pedigree. Reportedly, both survived.
No comments are needed about this animal to man experimental transfusions.
Xenotransfusion died shortly thereafter for reasons both moral and scientific.
Spoiler alert: The development of alpha-1, 3-galactosyltransferase gene-knockout pigs
has now shifted the debate. (The author owns no stock in porcine futures but does admit
he happily pumps blood with an aortic pig valve).
Richard Weaver lives in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor where he volunteers with the Maryland Book Bank, acts as the Archivist-at-large for a Jesuit college, and is a seasonal snowflake counter (unofficially). Recent work appears in Aberration Labyrinth, Slant, FRIGG, Slush Pile, decomP, South Florida Poetry Journal, Barrow Street, Deep South Magazine, and Concho River Review.1