IT SHOULD BE CALLED WOMENSTRUATE

MARLENA CHERTOCK

 
 

This poem also appears in Chertock’s “Crumb-sized” (Unnamed Press, 2017)
 
 

There are no men involved in this 
ancient act of bleeding, 
this Red Seaing 
between our thighs, 
this ritual we can’t help 
but take part in. 
 
Menstruous, a male name 
given to blood 
in 1375, when we were dying 
of the Black Death. Oozing sores. Pus. 
But this flowing red river 
is not monstrous. 
 
This power socket of cum joules, 
this tingling triangle, this coaxing 
cave, this primordial pomegranate 
is not monstrous, is full of sap 
and blood and ever-expanding, 
like the universe after its big bang. 
 
Our bodies know when others 
are on it. Electricity humming 
between our valleys below, 
current arcing from woman 
to woman. We womenstruate 
together. Share in the seeping. 

 
 

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