The Cost of Blood

on violence and love and no, not like That
05/05/2018. total words: 532

the cost of blood is twelve dollars per ounce. that price varies by geographical location. and in the here and now, i am willing to pay that price for something so valuable. what for? why, of course - why give you my love if i could give you my life? why give you my heart if i could make yours beat? the deadliest weapons of all are tempered in molten blood, and the cruelest demons of all summoned by virgin blood.
it has a cost, you see, and gold alone never pays for the guilt that comes with wounding someone, of driving home the knife or the needle or the insult. it is never gold required for blood, but blood required for gold.
how much of yourself do you pay for something tangible, something kind? how tired are you to work away and lose yourself in hopes of eating tomorrow? a loaf of bread is two-fifty at safeway and you can get five loaves with an ounce, but maybe three sandwiches if you're too tired from the loss to cook. so blood pays for blood, in the end. slice open your hand and hold mine close, let the red red rain drip from the union as our hearts beat as one. forge a bond like a sword, call forth bravery like a beast, say we'll never be apart even as we bleed for other, lesser things. literally, and metaphorically.

the cost of blood is twelve dollars per ounce. that price varies by type and geographical location. and yet no type is more valuable to me than yours, if only you never, never stop beating that heart in a rhythm i remember, forgotten like a clockwork lullaby to everyone else. yours is no more and no less common than anyone else's, not yet to save anyone but me. and yet, that makes it the most powerful liquid on earth, red and rich and sweet.
but love. but love, but love, but love. love doesn't require you to bleed. it's only a mixture of chemicals and one can survive without it. can't beat a heart without something rich and red and never was that love. it's not life, not really, but it can be done. love can be freely given, swapped back and forth and never paid for passage, never paid for a crime, never paid for innocence. love is special that way.
but if i bleed, my heart oh-so-full of love will beat, and that means it is worth far more to you than love. i cannot truly give you love without giving you blood, giving you what makes my heart beat and yours too, in tandem like a harmony. the blood i gave to you freely by giving you my love. if we forge our bond in love, we forge it too, in blood. and we paid both, for different reasons, that seem so similar when you squint.

the cost of blood is twelve dollars per ounce. that price varies by type and geographical location.
in the here and now, where you can be by my side? let me rephrase that.
the cost of blood is free, but only if you're keeping it.