Tuesday, December 2, 2008

On the morning of my period

On the morning of my period
I am disappointed, disturbed.
I touch the roundness of my stomach
and wonder why there is nothing there.
I fasten a pad to catch the thick clots
of blood that drip down my legs after
a hot morning bath,
and wonder why there is nothing there.
All this, despite
not wanting children, being on the Pill,
yet even then I am reckless
taking it at odd times.

On the morning when the blood has dried up
and sun fastens itself to the carpet,
I prepare to take a new pill from a new packet,
filling up with love for you,
letting go of the disappointment of empty bits.
I slather butter on pancake rounds,
the extra kilo is round on me, weights me,
does not fill me up. My empty stomach
protrudes guiltily, I am filled with the past.

In the week of my period I am angry at you:
for not giving me a child,
comfort, security, I am contradictory,
we fight over a theatre location,
I tell my therapist I am not ready for commitment,
when, inside, the unborn child stirs,
restless, comfortless, we're both looking for a home.
And I deny it by our fight,
as I breathe in the hot breath of your body,
the full lips, the round stomach,
filling up my body with quilts, furniture,
food, acquisitions for the home.
I brush my teeth,
pop open the silver foil covering Saturday's pill,
weigh myself, bath, dress, make-up –
all the while wondering if this was a
phantom period, wondering if something
stirs in me still.

(Published in The fire in which we burn)

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