The Injection Lesson

by Dana Swensen

What do we do when we’re done scooping rice?
I wanted to ask what the procedure was,
after we’re done with things. After the dishes
what heaven? After the car is parked
what casual thing other than boredom?
All around you, the preparations are being made
for the great event, each syringe is lain,
each setting seems prepared for you.
As you push the needle into your leg
and the estradiol flows into your thigh
other things still remain. You’ve turned a corner.
The grass is fresh. You smell trash. It’s a man.
Lying in a field you sense a border.
Your nose is to the earth. It’s not a man.