The lab tech asks me
to make a fist after she swabs
the inside of my arm, tightening
the tourniquet.

When the needle goes
in and the blood rises, she asks
if I’ve made arrangements for
a living will, an advance

directive. I can’t think
of what to say to the dark
swirl of viscous liquid pouring
as if without effort from me

into the glass vials, to
the fold of gauze pressed
on the site and covered with
a band-aid. What do we do

with things that move
forward despite anything?
From Middle to Old
English: willen, wollen;

meaning to will, to choose,
to wish. As in to be seized
by the desire for morning light,
wood smells, cold salt air.

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