By Jim Miller

Laying in the Plasma Bank
I think about how nice it would be to bring a date here
where there is cash prize bingo and PLINKO!
after every donation
But first there are 37 questions
some of which I will mention

“Are you under a physicians care?”
“Do you suffer from any maladies?”
“Shoot up drugs or have a skin disease?”
“Have you ever had sex with another man?”

Complete with aids test guaranteed
The phlebotomists sing R&B
sometimes watching CSI or BET from flat screens
wearing shit brown scrubs made by Cherokee
and blue latex gloves
Making overtime pay sticking pineapple sized needles into the poor
“Which arm do you prefer to get your flow on today?”

Payout depends on production you know
“how much do you weigh?”
During slow days they paint the walls
where bloods sprayed and make sweet sweet lemonade
for the tainted pale regulars who pick at skin and cough now and then
Rehab kids and inhabitants of low-income apartments
with the money from their life fluid
they buy $1.99 steak at the track on Fridays
and contribute to the scholarship lottery
using their blood donor number every time
In the waiting room security guards contemplate their smoking breaks
wearing stained and wrinkled shirts untucked
Patrons paste bloody fingers against white cotton swabs
Everybody in the room needs a protein shake
For your first time they give you a brown paper sack with a payday
some peanut butter crackers and a Capri sun to wash it down
A woman reading a self-help book complains of pain in her arm
she has a TAPOUT shirt on
The Puerto Rican has King Chulo written with sharpie on his plastic face shield
wearing an “I Heart Vagina” wrist band
“I will get to him after I stick his old lady,” he says to an eruption of laughter

yells a big slow looking ABC Barber College Student
a young Republican with a bad haircut who gives two times a week

Human beings
barber poles
lounging with tubes in their arms
flooding out life from an electronic turnstile device
Just a bucket full of blood and $15 pity money
come back tomorrow
a young boy’s face turns green—he faints accordingly