Illness and Fluctuation

by Stephanie Barber

in the 1990s
there was a race to develop human insulin.
synthetic human insulin.
a transferrable synthetic human insulin.

this would be for those artists,
like andy,
whose sense of sweet
fluctuated wildly.

his taste, his body, his way of wrapping
the whole world up in his arms and planting
natural born kisses on its swollen with
worry temples.

it hurt. yes. the way
andy went back and forth, back and forth
through joy, trust, surrender and faith
to cynicism, paranoia and rage

there is a thin blue frame around
the way he thought about what it was he was doing.
a caving in
at the injection site.

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