I want to talk at length about Men-
struation. Or my period.
Or the rag as you so lovingly put it.
All right then.
I’d like to mention my rag time.
and lovely to the light to look at
like a good glass of burgundy. Suddenly
I’m an artist each month.
The star inside this like a ruby.
Fascinating bits of sticky
The afterbirth without the birth.
The gobs of a strawberry jam.
Membrane stretchy like
saliva in your hand.
It’s important you feel its slickness,
understand the texture isn’t bloody at all.
That you don’t gush
between the legs. Rather,
it unravels itself like string
from some deep deep center—
like a Russian subatomic submarine,
or better, like a mad Karlov cackling
behind beakers and blooping spirals.
Still with me?
Oh I know, darling,
I’m indulging, but indulge
me if you please.
I find the subject charming.
I’d like to dab my fingers
in my inkwell
and write a poem across the wall.
“A Poem of Womanhood”
Now wouldn’t that be something?
Words writ in blood. But no,
not blood at all, I told you.
If blood is thicker than water, then
menstruation is thicker than brother-
hood. And the way
It metamorphosizes! Dazzles.
From the first
transparent drop of light
to the fifth day of chocolate paste.
I haven’t mentioned the smell. Think
But thicker. Think
A sweet exotic snuff
from an ancient prehistoric center.
– Sandra Cisneros, Down There