first purified insulin for human consumption. without them, I'd be dead.
|sugar is to blame
a body consumed by sweetness thirsts,
melts in pain, as sugar crystal blood
scrapes veins and starves cells
with the inaccessibility of food.
January. 1922. sugar meant sleep and death.
mothers mourn over hospital beds
as their children bleed syrup, fifty in a room,
until they come. men armed with syringes and hope
stopping by every bed.
before the last patient receives his dose
the first wakes to his mother’s tears of joy.
July. 2008. Thursday morning my brother finds me sleeping,
cold and aching, on the kitchen floor. I cannot wake.
Mother calls me, shakes me,
cries into the phone for an ambulance, follows
it to the ER where they taste my blood for sugar.
armed with an IV and hope, they drip insulin.
when Mother arrives, the doctor has already finished.
when I wake, Mother laughs
with streaming eyes.
insulin sweeps sugar away from the blood
so it can flow softly again, feeding
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