Removing Blood Stains
(Amy T Matthews)

(edited by Laura McPhee-Browne)

Ex – out of.
Sanguis – blood.
To bleed out.

It takes up to fifteen minutes to bleed out.

Felix Baumgartner fell to earth from the stratosphere in just nine minutes. It takes longer to bleed to death than it took him to plunge from the stars.

Removing blood stains:
Try not to let the blood set. Pour white vinegar on the stain while it’s fresh, leave for five to ten minutes, rinse. Repeat.

It takes twenty seconds for your blood to complete the entire circuit of your body. In the length of a single day your blood travels almost two thousand kilometres. Two thousand kilometres is the limit of Low Earth Orbit. Any higher and you’re in proper space, untethered.

Removing blood stains:
For fresh stains only. Apply 3% hydrogen peroxide directly to the stain. Rinse. Launder as usual.

The hearts of a man and a woman in love will synchronise if they stare into one another’s eyes for three minutes.

The first time we kissed my heart stopped.

Removing blood stains:
Do not wash in hot water, it will set the stain.

There was more than five litres of blood in your body. Every drop had value.

Human blood contains traces of gold. 0.2 milligrams of gold slips through your veins at five kilometres an hour.

Removing blood stains:
Blood stains are best treated immediately. If allowed to set for more than twenty-four hours, they are difficult to remove.

A man’s heart weighs 280 grams.
A woman’s is the same, or less.

Aristotle believed the heart was a lamp that kept us warm. In his will he asked to be buried next to his wife. She was a biologist who collected things that had lived. The last thing she collected was Aristotle.

The human heart continues to beat outside of the body, as long as it has a supply of oxygen. My heart needs air more than it needs me. I need you more than I need air. There is an equation there somewhere. And equations have solutions.
Except 2x + 3 = 2x + 7.

I tried everything. It was insoluble.

Removing Blood Stains:
Trauma and Biohazard Cleaning Service
Discreet, sensitive and experienced sanitation service for trauma, crime scene, and biohazard clean up. Waste removal, stain removal, chemical and mould remediation, general cleaning: qualified technicians will make your space safe again.

They came and cleaned you off the carpet, every trace of blood and gold and heart. When they left, the man told me they’d seen worse. Then he said he was sorry for my loss.


Amy T Matthews is an award-winning author, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Flinders University, and Chair of Writers SA. She also writes under the name Tess LeSue. Find more from Amy on her website