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).