Substitute For Blood

There is no substitute for blood.

No medium that better transfuses pain and pleasure.

Sweeps oxygen to the lungs

Leaves us spinning when it rushes to the brain and drains from us where we are opened up.

It is the currency of civilization; the proof of purchase.

The ink in which the terms of our agreement are writ large.

Smeared upon the walls of cells in cryptic messages,

proclaiming doom and prophecy;

beholding madness and genius both – the inevitable outcome of conflict.

The reproductive discharge,

we are born covered in it and many of us will leave the same way.

Those more fortunate gasping our last and as it fills our lungs,

knowing we went forth from this life with purpose.

It has cleansed the Sins of Man and borne the most unholy pathogens.

The mere sight of it brings some to fainting,

pumping through the hearts of heroes and heathen alike.

Binding us all tighter than our skin – our most precious elixir;

Our covenant

Our provenance

It rushes to our face when we’ve been exposed and pounds in our ears in fight or flight.

Mystics say it conjures the darkest magic and seals contracts with dark forces,

by cunning and desperate men whose lust leaves them with no other chip with which to barter,

but that which courses through their own veins.

Platelets, amino acid chains, proteins and plasma,

Mostly water, really.

More valuable than all the stones and metals ever pulled from the Earth.

It is the medium that carries our breath in

Our breath out,

for what little time we are here.

And then, to the wet, dark ground from which it came, it is returned.

There are but few parched patches that have not soaked in red

Shed for tribe, or hunt, or God, or sport.

Liquid mystery feeding specters in our imaginations,

Slaking the thirst of fiends from dusty crypts to modern fantasy,

Driving lusts and firing swollen nerve endings,

Leaving our brains so that our heaving chests might drink more deeply of one another, until we are so engorged with sensation that we are senseless.

Flushed and panting, spent and sweat cooling on our bodies

As two mingle to make a third and soon new blood is born into the world.

What little things that matter more than this divine fluid?

Perhaps only found in the gaps between stars could more important courses flow.

The Nile, the Euphrates and the Congo – the Amazon, the Mississippi and the Ganges;

Insignificant rivulets when a vein has been opened,

When a heart has ceased beating and the aqueous courier no longer bears us consciousness.

In final moments spent in swiftly passing panic, or calmly breaching this life’s veil to peek beyond, we are aware most keenly;

There is no substitute for blood.

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