Test Subject


There is an 80 percent survival rate
the intake person tells me
as she notes blood pressure, weight, pulse.

Later a technician will pierce my body,
hang me upside down
and drain life force like blue water
from a faucet into glass beakers.

In the waiting room,
shells of selves waste away
like buckets of bait.
The other 20 percent?
All for a good cause of course:
to save this puerile species of technicians
and intake persons from harm.

They never even asked.

12 thoughts on “Test Subject

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  1. Hey, Jen – Guess this is from the POV of the crab, yes? I looked up “horseshoe crab therapy” on the net, and I guess their blood has something that protects us humans from potential toxins in some injectable meds. And there’s a lot of stuff about how only 30% of their blood gets taken at once, and most of them seem to recover quite nicely… But, you’re right: Nobody ever asked. That’s the point.


    1. Exactly. We just assume it’s OK for us to do that, right? Just like we assume it’s OK to scoop them up in barrels and use them for bait (true story from a friend recently).

  2. I saw two mating today! They are so prehistoric looking the way they scooted and flowed along the marsh. I find this piece very distressing.

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