"We women & all of the ways we bleed for each other, of each other, in time with each other." (a poem for you)

So, let us talk about periods! It has been so fascinating (in ways both horrendous & liberating) to examine mine, & to come to a place in my life where I am both unafraid &, in some odd kind of fashion, rather proud of it. This after so many years of despising it & wishing desperately that my body would quit its endless struggle to remind me of the womanhood I was unsure I even wanted. (Only magnified by the many anxiety disorders crowding my head that repeated over & over to me that my period was something to abhor & hide away whenever I could... until I could not help but believe it.)

Alas, though I am slowly beginning to treat my period with the kindness I think perhaps it has always deserved, society seems to hold the same position as aforementioned anxiety disorders, & takes great glee in reminding me of that fact given any opportunity.

And so: a poem for an experience I have not stopped turning over & pondering on since it happened. A poem for the fierce & all-encompassing love of this part of myself I am too tired anymore to hate.

First published in the gorgeous feminist journal Heather—do take a look at the rest of the issue, loves, I think you'd adore it.

Please do share your thoughts with me (on periods, on self-hatred or lack thereof, on tenderness, on fire & on fury) in the comments. xo

 

Witch in Red

Ticket guy on the train asks if I’m on my period when I
don’t say thank you after he punches my ticket. Voice like
just a joke. Like god, you women take everything so damn
seriously
. Hey, ticket guy? For the record, I’m not on my
period. For the record, you being an asshole does not
require the cooperation of my hormones. Ticket guy on
the train says period like curse word. Says it like spit out
of mouth aftertaste, like unconditioning, like won’t
mention this when his wife asks him how work was
today. Says period like something I should be ashamed
of. Like I need an excuse for the woman brimming up
inside of me. The way it smells fear, rears in search of
blood. Hey, ticket guy? For the record, I’m not on my
period, but fuck you anyway. Hey, ticket guy? For the
record, people like you think strength means holding
on, but I’ll let you in on a secret that every woman
already knows: the real strength is in letting go. Period,
like my uterus which is so fearless in turning itself inside
out. In bleeding heartache out of my body. Period, like
that is not something to be ashamed of. Period, like
battle scar. Like the sentence is only over when I say
it’s over. Period, like god, you women take everything
so damn seriously
. Like we women sharing tampons.
Like we women in the shower & blood down the drain.
Like we women & all of the ways we bleed for each
other, of each other, in time with each other. Hey, ticket
guy, you want to know why you’ve never seen a woman
faint at blood except for in the movies? Then watch me
grow a new skin every month. Watch hunger leak from
my vagina. Watch me become a new human with every
drop that spills out of me. Hey, ticket guy, you want to
know why we complain about PMS? Last week my
friend texted me hey, my cramps are really bad, don’t
think I can make it to the party
, & the next morning I
called her & found out her appendix had ruptured.
You want to look me in the eye & tell me how we take
everything so damn seriously? Hey, ticket guy? Watch
us bleed. Our bodies are reincarnations of Eve. Our
blood is the song of wild things. Hey, ticket guy? You
can shut the fuck up, thanks very much. Hey, ticket
guy? Ask any woman & she’ll tell you why Eve bit
into that apple. Why she chose the universe instead
of you. So hey, ticket guy? Watch my uterus rewrite
its own story. Hey, ticket guy? I refuse to apologise
for the way my body is an act of creation. For how
my blood eats you bare. For how I flourish in red.
For all of the ways I bleed myself into infinity.