Poetry: Plasma Donation by Paige Johnson

Plasma Donation
I don’t know why it’s called
charity when I get a Benjamin
each time a sharp-tooth cutie 
in a turtleneck taps my vein,
but it feels good to 
paint a pulse &
pad my purse.
Least ‘til the 
scrubs wander off,
leaving me shaking 
in a hard-ass school seat.
Pinpricks of heat 
leave me heaving,
aqua-white circles swirling my vision
with rumbling waves 
like a washer.
Tunnel vision.
That why they call it Trainspotting?
Tiles levitating, shoulders slacking,
voices dimming as I perspire like a squeezed sponge.
Was totally fine as they pumped my blood orange,
snaked it through a plastic maze
to speed up the rat race of my paperchase
and pollute someone else leeching to life.
But as soon as that spike 
slithered out the bullseye of my elbow,
the world turned gel-cap blue.
Hour-long transfiguration,
five-minute hallucination.  
Too hot-blooded, 
salt-spiked by pseudo-scenario stress, 
diet of Special K not sufficing?
Three hours and as much recovery time 
pressed into purple plastic,
a government-regulated debit card.
What makes the party drink pink streams
spewing from my mouth Exorcist-style worth it? 
The four blankets needed in Florida weather,
sleep-snatching brain zaps and crying gauze?
earbuds and books on emetophilia.
Ashnikko shirts and offensive podcast subscriptions.
Studded, half-stolen bows and cases of Gatorade Zero.
Kibbles and bits for a pissy kitty, 
algae flakes for a hypnotizing fish tank
to observe the next time I purposefully up-end reality,
a new fizzing sphere under my tongue, underway.

Maybe I order and welcome a new world too easily,
but it feels more life-giving than living clean and easy.

Paige Johnson is EIC of Outcast Press and author of Percocet Summer: Poetry for Distancing Dates and Doses. She has a short story about date rape con-girls upcoming in the Diner Noir Anthology curated by Craig Clevenger. Additionally, she has a collaborative chapbook in the works with street poet Benzo Monroe of Creative Destruction Press.