Drug Study (lab rat)

I look up my symptoms    heart flutter murmur ache in chest
The ribavirin blues are gone now    seeped out    like UFOs
my leg shrunk    but the ankle still swells
all because of a dirty needle    visions of my past drip    and the virus slithers
out eyes        the medicine doesn’t do that     skinny nurse ashtray stink
EKG nipple patch      I pray I’m touching the hem of your garment so now look at me
I ran you know     before this bomb went off in the body
before the itch    on the right calf    here, I will draw a map imagine the bruised knee is El Salvador. my thigh like Mexico. California is California but Texas
has a growth inside
and all run to the gynecologist (this medicine doesn’t cause side effects, they said)      I ask
a woman in cowboy boots if the vagina felt rough     the part
before the finger slides in     everything is normal she says
everything is fine     the sick left    went somewhere else
This is modern medicine
This is the miracle drug
This is what it’s like to die I say left     in the pines with Alice
(Dear Ms Notley, you wrote such beautiful poems in France while undergoing treatment & now
I understand                                                                                        each word.
Hello Alice, why won’t anyone answer me?)
the body grows two sizes fat

and    eats itself



Kat Moore has essays in the Yemassee Journal, 5×5 Lit Mag, & Blunderbuss Magazine. She has fiction and poetry at Negative Suck, U of M Magazine, & others. Her short story ‘Kissing River Phoenix” has been adapted to a short film by Polyphony Creative. She is a 2nd year MFA student at The University of Memphis. She lives in Memphis with her dilute tortie, her boyfriend, & 2 dogs.



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Cover image: Chrystal Berche