pink minced meat

sweating in the sink

quick, put it in the oven before it

starts to stink

 

let the house fill with it

seep into the walls

sink into the carpet

 

 

eat until you’re satisfied

eat until you’re numb inside

 

 

 

the cognitive dissonance

became something i could taste

 

blood-soaked styrofoam

made

the flesh anonymous

 

 

eggs

bleached white

their labels lacking words

silenced

 

but i could taste the cage in the yolk

 

cutting fat

away from gristle

watching thin tendons tear

 

realising

as i was chewing

that eating meat

was absurd

 

realising

as i was chewing

that tofu

 

tastes like / smells like / looks like / sounds like / feels like

a sponge

and it’s delicious

 

there’s something so wonderfully benign

about roasted vegetables

 

that i’d

never noticed

before

 

and i notice now

while i chew

 

stagnant blood

stagnant blood

wakes me up

 

interrupts my sleep

to say

hey

guess what

 

d

r

i

p

 

drip drip

 

my life has been

taken over

by little wads

of cotton on strings

 

in my bag, in my drawer

on my desk

in my bathroom

on the floor

 

i use a cup too

so it’s not

 

d

r

i

p

 

drip drip

 

it’s more of a

 

p

 

o

 

u

 

r

 

feeling like

i’m in a horror movie

i’ve directed myself

 

in the shower

under a supermoon

cursing the P.E teacher

who told me in health class

I’d never lose more than a teaspoon

 

of this stagnant blood

that wakes me up

watching water

dilute

red

to pink

to clear

 

drip drip

 

p

 

o

 

u

 

r

A Girl Has To

 

it is terrifying

how little

men may choose to know

about a woman’s period

 

were you not sitting beside me

in sex ed class? filling out the same book as me?

 

I studied

semen, and sperm,

seminal vesicles

ducts, glands, deep dorsal veins

and wet dreams

 

and still

all around me

I hear:

 

a girl only gets her period once in her life

 

a girl only gets her period after she’s had sex

 

a girl has to change her tampon

every time she pees

 

a girl has to wear tampons

all the time, every day, even when she sleeps

in case her period comes

 

a girl can choose

when she wants to have her period

like selecting the time for a parcel delivery.

 

cramps

are something that you have

in your stomach

and they aren’t really

that bad.

 

I understand

that all those sex ed classes

were awkward

and filled with things

filmed in the 80’s

 

but my 17-year-old self

would be alarmed

by how little you know

of my body

yet you declare

 

You want to be inside me.

 

 

I Believed That

“I am a feminist”

you say

to your friends

to your family

 

 

and I believed that,

once upon a time.

 

But

over coffee

my hands still wrapped around

the empty cup

 

I hear the words of the women in your life.

Through their mouths I’ve heard you say

“But what about my needs?”

“But what about me?”

“I’m so lonely, you barely touch me anymore.”

 

and, my hands still around my coffee cup

I watch the girl (a friend) across from me,

the girl who used to be your girl,

float away, getting further and further away

from the sound of her own voice

and how they wrap around those words

heavy, weighted words

left unsaid

expectations

and obligations

 

 

 

Do you remember,

one day, I was telling you about

my wife, and our long-distance relationship

and you said

 

 

How do you do it?

I mean

I couldn’t do it

I mean

going without sex

I mean

 

 

and I ask you

if you know what it feels like

to float above your body and

have to watch

while someone touches you

when you don’t really want them to?

 

and I ask you

if you know what it feels like

when someone calls you

and accuses you

of not loving them enough

because you didn’t feel like going all the way

the other day

 

“I am a feminist”

you say

to your friends

to your family

 

and I believed that,

once upon a time.

 

But now

I see you

for what you are

the word behind my eyelids

clear when I blink

 

I see you are

p r o b l e m a t i c