Monday, December 15, 2008

Giving Blood

Giving Blood

I need money for the last taxi cab home
to the reservation and I need a taxi

because all the Indians left this city
last night while I was sleeping

and forgot to tell me, so I walk on down
to the blood bank with a coupon that guarantees

me twenty bucks a pint, and I figure
I can stand to lose three or four pints

but the white nurse says no, you can only give up
one pint at a time, and before you can do that

you have to clear our extensive screening process
which involves a physical examination and interview

which is a pain in the ass but I need the money
so I sit down at a wooden desk across from the

white nurse holding a pen and paper and she aske
me my name and I tell her

Crazy Horse and she asks me my birthday and I
tell her it was probably June 25 in 1876

and then she asks me my ethnic origin and I
tell her I'm an Indian or Native American

depending on your view of historical accuracy
and she asks me my religious preference and I

tell her I prefer to keep my religion entirely
independent of my economic activities and then

she asks me how many sexual partners I've had
and I say one or two, depending on your definition

of what I did to Custer, and then she puts aside
her pen and paper and gives me the most important

question--she asks me if I still have enough heart
and I tell her I don't know it's been a long time

but I'd like to give it a try and then she smiles
and turns to her computer punches in my name and

vital information and we wait together for the
results, until the computer prints a sheet of

statistics and the white nurse reads it over
a few times and tells me I'm sorry Mr.

Crazy Horse but we've already taken too much of
your blood and you won't be eligible to donate
for another generation or two.

Sherman Alexie........from The Business of Fancydancing

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