Daniel Brennan

Blood Sonnet

Like the best prophets, I was born under a blood

moon. The nice lady in scrubs doesn’t care; she draws my blood.

Pulls from stone a sample, parcels it for an STI panel. Smiles. Blood,

I’ve learned, is a map, cartographed with the men I’ve loved. Blood


is the secret history I’m dreaming to wear, bloody

-lipped and fevered. Within pitched alleys and stairwells, my blood

becomes a passport into fantasy, into likeness. Held nightly within the blood

-curling gaze of a boy like me, our heretic hunger. Does my blood


radiate beneath my skin? My friends, they lament that we still can’t donate blood;

a gift gilded with the fallacy of disease. In the world’s eyes—because my blood

aches with heat when I’m inside another man—my blood

is also a blooming red tide. But even still, the world still craves my blood!


My blood, the bait and lure, the worm on the hook. My blood,

with its ancestry of running thick through the Downtown streets. Blood

that spills as easy from a night sky as it does a silent body laying still and bloody

on the pier, along a ditch, in a shadowed field. Noble blood, but deviant blood.

Blood that still squirms deep below the earth. This world can keep its blood

money. Boiling, endless, I taste the steely salvation in my sinner’s blood.


Daniel Brennan (he/him) is a queer writer and coffee devotee from New York, who spent much of his childhood in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Pennsylvania, along with his many siblings and an ongoing menagerie of pets. His work has appeared in numerous places, including Passengers Journal, The Banyan Review, Birdcoat Quarterly, Sky Island Journal, and Hive Avenue. You can find him on Twitter and Instagram @dannyjbrennan.

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