Intravenous Therapy

Robin Gow


the nurse says pick an ocean
& i say Mediterranean because
i've never been there but
it sounds wild & warm. i imagine
that’s where my great great great
grandmothers crawled out as fish:
a beach with white sand & fruit washing
up on the shore. she fills
the IV bag with the entire
Mediterranean ocean & tells
me i need to take it all in.
drip by drip. the sun enters
my blood with stories of bare feet
& maroon burnt skin. all the pieces
of fruit are unripe & i hold
them up high asking god to do
his magic & make them sweet.
when i was small i would dare
myself to eat the skin off
unripe plums, bitter scabs.
i toss their pits into
the ocean & plum trees grow
underwater. i feel the pits
crawling through the tube
like beetles marching
into my blood, planting themselves
somewhere deep. i open my mouth
so they will have sun. i ask
you what those things are called
that keep time & you say an hourglass?
& i say yes, an hourglass.
the nurse sets an hourglass
on the windowsill
& says this is how long you have left.
it doesn't seem very long but
then again it's relative.
i think my hourglass is filled with
salt not sand. the family tree
was a plum tree at the bottom
of the ocean & the fruits
washing up on shore were all
pink people that i don't know
the last names of. the nurse
says generally family comes
along for things like this
i give up & crawl into the sea,
the Mediterranean Sea. this is
the farthest i've been from
the northeast. there's no
car horns, just a great great great
grandmother stirring
the ocean with one leg
in the water. i have little desire
to travel now that i can feel
the whole ocean inside me.
i invite you inside to collect shells.
i feel them each as they expand
my veins into currents. i open my mouth
again, only this time it's a tide pool,
my tongue a starfish.
feed me plums.


Robin Gow’s poetry has recently been published in Poetry, Furrow, carte blanche, FIVE:2:ONE, and Corbel Stone Press. He is a graduate student at Adelphi University pursuing an MFA in Creative Writing. He is the Social Media Coordinator for Oyster River Pages and interns for Porkbelly Press. He is an out-and-proud bisexual transgender man, passionate about LGBT issues. He loves poetry that lilts in and out of reality, and his queerness is also the central axis of his work.