Weekly Write: “Bloodletting” by Rene Mullen


When someone bleeds
the brakes of a car, nobody asks
“What’d you do to your arm?”

When a levy is drained
to keep the floods from destroying
that which it protects, nobody
says, “Hey, you know that ain’t healthy.
That ain’t natural.”

Painting on your body is both beautiful
and telling.

When I see a new tattoo
I praise the artist savior
keeping dams from giving in.
I thank the still breathing canvas
for allowing the pressure
to be bled out.

I thank my lucky stars
at least one more canvas
knows there’s a difference
between drawing out dark pigments
and tearing the canvas apart.

Rene Mullen is managing editor for a public relations company in Albuquerque, a performance and traditional poet, and a mental health advocate. Mullen is also one of two 2018 Albuquerque Slam Champions and member of three slam teams that have been on multiple regional and national stages. Their poetry and fiction has been featured in Peachfish Magazine, Poetry Quarterly, 50 Haikus, and Stronger Than Stigma: Poetry from the 2019 Mindwell Poetry Slam Team. Their poetry focuses primarily on mental health and family.



“Like”, “Share”, and comment on this poem to nominate it for the Annual Swimming with Elephants Publications 2020 Anthology.

Click here check out the 2019 Anthology:  Trumpet Call; a Swimming with Elephants Anthology available for only $12.95.