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June 01st 2008 print

Jude Aquilina

Leech

Little lug of blood. An extra toe in wet socks.
A red blister growing unseen, unfelt
in crevices and creases. It fills like a balloon;
like a haemorrhoid. A swollen berry
once carried by the dozen in doctors’ bags.

It moves like a cartoon, a mobile tap
ready to plumb a vein. Sated, it sits like a slug.
Until the host discovers this drunken parasite,
shoots salt and words and disgorges the squatter.
Eternally unloved, all a leech wants is a warm home.
Jude Aquilina