Bad Blood 

“Would you like to save three lives today?”
The question stings more than the antiseptic on
your arm. Your normal arm. Your untainted arm.

My arm flows with O-negative, priority
wasted by my “lifestyle” and “risk activities.”
The FDA points to me
as an infection circa DSM-II.

Science shows that 4.8 million Americans
would die each year without blood transfusions.
And statistics suggest that people like me
are four times more likely to attempt suicide.

Are they worried that my blood can’t be pure?
Or that it will mix with your blood, normal blood?

“You don’t want my blood,” I sigh in response.
My people fought to get basic rights,
to marry, to adopt. We’re still discriminated against
and marginalized. We haven’t had time
to fight for our right to give.

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