“Abuela, ¿le duele?”
I ask, hanging off the arm of her chair.
She looks up from her glucose monitor.
The TV screen is copied
in the corners of her glasses,
two distracting suns.
“Un poco,” she says. “A pinprick.”
The pinpricks of stars across the night sky,
I think—I have been reading—as we watch
her blood expand like a red giant
on the test strip.
“Every time?” I ask, imagining
millions of tiny red giants,
enough to wallpaper the sky with blood.
She looks past commercial supernovas
and understanding dawns
over the rims of her glasses.
“No te preocupes, niña,” she says.
But I remain in watchful orbit.
Lisa M. Bradley resides in Iowa with her spouse, child, and two cats. Her short fiction and poetry have infiltrated Stone Telling, Strange Horizons, Cicada, and other publications. She loves gothic country and Americana music, broken taboos, Spanglish, and horror films—evidence of which you’ll find in her collection, The Haunted Girl (Aqueduct Press, Fall 2014). She blogs at cafenowhere.livejournal.com and tweets’n’tumbles as cafenowhere.