My First Blood

They told me about the blood.

They said when I bled,

A woman I would become

Woman! Mature, Seductive, Wise!

They did not tell me about the pain,

The twisting in my gut,

The knives in my abdomen,

Stabbing straight through,

To my lower back.

They did not tell me about the smell

Heavy, rotten, cloying,

That follows me

And I glance about,

Worried that someone might smell

My shame.

They did not tell me

About scrubbing stains in the sink

Until my hands were numb

They did not talk about

The sudden

Explosion of pus filled bumps

On my face, my back.

They did not tell me

That I would lie alone

In my bed crying

Without knowing why.

No one told me

That to be a woman, in other’s eyes

Was to be weak

And irrational

To have my words doubted

On the grounds of my

Young hormones.

Is this what it means

To be a woman? Tied

To my bed, bleeding.

Is being a woman

Suffering?

I want to pull myself free of the blood,

But it’s still a part of me.

They will never separate us

So why should I?

Perhaps I should accept the blood

Accept it as my heritage

Rise up a goddess

With blood between my legs.

I am woman watch me bleed.

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