stdClass Object
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    [ID] => 21624
    [post_author] => 23
    [post_date] => 2021-04-26 12:03:09
    [post_date_gmt] => 2021-04-26 12:03:09
    [post_content] => How bored you are, explaining phenotypes to me.
I stammer about GCSE biology; I have forgotten T cells exist,
I have forgotten clots, platelets, osmotic pressure,

I have forgotten my birthday. You hand me another form;
like mine, your hands are small. I wonder how many times
a day you ask which arm, how many times across your life

you will request a rolled up sleeve. ‘Left,’ I say.
The lilac tourniquet clasps my tattoo and you remove
your gloves to seek a vein. Some days, my skin is suffocating.

Some days, it is remote. But here, the eye of the needle blinking,
you: talking, me: bleeding, I feel something like normalcy.
Because haven’t humans always done this? Opened our veins

to each other, watched faith trickle from the crook
of our elbows, hoping, hoping for better? You say
the way we treat the vulnerable says it all. The vials

are filling with such constancy that for the first time
in my life I love my heart. Stephen, I have never been sanguine.
But for you I split a smile and say ‘My friend Em wants some.

My blood, that is.’ You call her a freak, which is fair.
O Stephen. I have forgotten how to be empty.
I have forgotten how to be scared.
    [post_title] => Love Poem to Stephen the Phlebotomist
    [post_excerpt] => 
    [post_status] => publish
    [comment_status] => closed
    [ping_status] => closed
    [post_password] => 
    [post_name] => love-poem-to-stephen-the-phlebotomist
    [to_ping] => 
    [pinged] => 
    [post_modified] => 2021-04-27 12:28:27
    [post_modified_gmt] => 2021-04-27 12:28:27
    [post_content_filtered] => 
    [post_parent] => 0
    [guid] => https://poems.poetrysociety.org.uk/?post_type=poems&p=21624
    [menu_order] => 0
    [post_type] => poems
    [post_mime_type] => 
    [comment_count] => 0
    [filter] => raw
    [meta_data] => stdClass Object
        (
            [wpcf-published-in] => 
            [wpcf-date-published] => 2021
            [wpcf-summary-description] => This poem is commended in the Keats challenge (‘The Weariness, the Fever and the Fret’: Writing Illness, Health and John Keats) on Young Poets Network in 2021.
            [wpcf-rights-information] => 
            [wpcf-poem-award] => Commended, Keats challenge
            [wpcf_pr_belongs] => 
        )

    [poet_data] => stdClass Object
        (
            [ID] => 18016
            [forename] => 
            [surname] => 
            [title] => Nadia Lines
            [slug] => nadia-lines
            [content] => Nadia is a top 15 winner of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2019. She is the first-prize winner in the 11-15 age category in the Turn Up the Volume challenge on Young Poets Network, and the first-prize winner in the 2019 poetry translation challenge with Modern Poetry in Translation, judged by Clare Pollard. She is also the second-prize winner in August Challenge #2: Fairy Tale Poetry; the third-prize winner in the meme challenge, written and judged by poet Rishi Dastidar; and commended in the moon poetry challenge, judged by Nii Parkes; the Golden Shovel challenge, judged by Peter Kahn; in August Challenge #1: Re-mixing History, Fiction and the Unexpected; in the Human Cell Atlas challenge; and in the Keats challenge, part of The Poetry Society's celebrations of Keats's bicentenary in 2021.
        )

)
stdClass Object
(
    [ID] => 18016
    [forename] => 
    [surname] => 
    [title] => Nadia Lines
    [slug] => nadia-lines
    [content] => Nadia is a top 15 winner of the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award 2019. She is the first-prize winner in the 11-15 age category in the Turn Up the Volume challenge on Young Poets Network, and the first-prize winner in the 2019 poetry translation challenge with Modern Poetry in Translation, judged by Clare Pollard. She is also the second-prize winner in August Challenge #2: Fairy Tale Poetry; the third-prize winner in the meme challenge, written and judged by poet Rishi Dastidar; and commended in the moon poetry challenge, judged by Nii Parkes; the Golden Shovel challenge, judged by Peter Kahn; in August Challenge #1: Re-mixing History, Fiction and the Unexpected; in the Human Cell Atlas challenge; and in the Keats challenge, part of The Poetry Society's celebrations of Keats's bicentenary in 2021.
)

Love Poem to Stephen the Phlebotomist

Nadia Lines

How bored you are, explaining phenotypes to me.
I stammer about GCSE biology; I have forgotten T cells exist,
I have forgotten clots, platelets, osmotic pressure,

I have forgotten my birthday. You hand me another form;
like mine, your hands are small. I wonder how many times
a day you ask which arm, how many times across your life

you will request a rolled up sleeve. ‘Left,’ I say.
The lilac tourniquet clasps my tattoo and you remove
your gloves to seek a vein. Some days, my skin is suffocating.

Some days, it is remote. But here, the eye of the needle blinking,
you: talking, me: bleeding, I feel something like normalcy.
Because haven’t humans always done this? Opened our veins

to each other, watched faith trickle from the crook
of our elbows, hoping, hoping for better? You say
the way we treat the vulnerable says it all. The vials

are filling with such constancy that for the first time
in my life I love my heart. Stephen, I have never been sanguine.
But for you I split a smile and say ‘My friend Em wants some.

My blood, that is.’ You call her a freak, which is fair.
O Stephen. I have forgotten how to be empty.
I have forgotten how to be scared.