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  You could have a big dipper   

Vaccinate This by Lauren WB Vermette

You arrogant jackass disciple of Adam,

how dare you—

reach between my ribs to pluck

an apple from my left breast,

then hand me a syringe filled

with my mother’s milk, nourishment

I never had. We just couldn’t

get it together, she told me

while I watched her breastfeed

my sister, who I could never touch.

Who she held as my father

revved his motorcycle then left.

I grab the syringe, jab it

into the apple as though an injection

could cure me of her spittle

flecking my cheeks, her sobs wetting

my lap, all before my toes

could brush the floor.

Compassion is a virus

I must train my cells to love, I say.

Stop giving a fuck, you tell me

as the plunger hits home.


Lauren WB Vermette is an ink-slinger from Dover, NH. Her work appears in Autumn Sky Poetry Daily, Covid Spring, Edge, Global Poemic, Good Fat Zine, Hole in the Head Review, Lunation, and Rat’s Ass Review Journal. She has one poetry collection, And The Form Falls Away (Senile Monk Press, 2018).

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