Throwback: Dear Dominique

I’d forgotten I had this poem, which I wrote at the IIMML a couple of years ago, published by The Spinoff.

Dear Dominique

“I was having sex with my girlfriend when she started her period. I dumped that bitch immediately.”  – tweet

Dear nameless dummy on Twitter: You’re the reason my daughter cried funeral tears when she started her period. The sudden grief all young girls feel after the matriculation from childhood, and the induction into a reality that they don’t have to negotiate, you and your disdain for what a woman’s body can do. Herein begins an anatomy lesson infused with feminist politics because I hate you. – The Period Poem, Dominique Christina

We are taught to be embarrassed by blood, by the dark earth smell of it, by the stains on the sheets and cotton underwear, by the moment we have to tell, by the pain that chases us from the classroom.  We are taught to whisper if we are caught off-guard, if we need help, as if it were some hideous wound, some dreadful contagious disease that must be contained at all costs and all very very quietly.

A few weeks ago, I became wounded in the night. Unaware of my horrifying circumstance I answered the door and stood bloody-thighed before a tight faced courier. If he thought I was dying he didn’t say.

A few weeks ago, a woman ran a marathon while free bleeding. She ran the whole thing with her blood on her body and world watched. The world watched. The world said it was disgusting.

There is a war inside my pelvis. Inside my abdomen, inside my uterus, there is a war. “Your fertility will be lower, of course,” says the doctor, not looking at me. “You’ll want to start trying soon.” He doesn’t add I’m almost thirty, but I can see he’s thinking it. He recommends baths for back pain.

The hot tap drips slowly into the pinkened water. My body weeps vacancy. When I stand, my skin is slick and reflective.

“I just don’t trust anything that bleeds for five days and doesn’t die.”

I just don’t trust anyone who doesn’t think that’s divine.

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