when I take my medicine

katie o'brien

the boys pelt her with lemons
dappling yellow cheeks
at morning recess

the procedure cracked her ribs
replaced drowning lungs with
iceberg-shaped pancreases

and so instead of carbon dioxide her
pancreas-lungs breathe out insulin
in the schoolyard

note the fluttering of monarchs
within her rainbow-scarred abdomen
as she gasps for breath

turns out diabetic shock
smells like pickled duodenum
and lemonade

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Calgary's katie o’brien is a poet, community worker, queer activist, and Netflix enthusiast originally from St. John’s, Ktaqamkuk, on unceded Beothuk land. a peal of thunder, a moment of (The Blasted Tree, 2019) is their third chapbook. katie dislikes lying, sings a lot, and doesn’t kill bugs.

katie o'brien

katie o’brien is a poet, community worker, queer activist, and Netflix enthusiast originally from St. John’s, Ktaqamkuk, on unceded Beothuk land. a peal of thunder, a moment of (The Blasted Tree, 2019) is their third chapbook. katie dislikes lying, sings a lot, and doesn’t kill bugs.

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