I think I’m so close to being clear.

One day I’m a white-capped nun, the next

tomato-red, silk ribbon red.

One day, my body is a well-oiled machine,

no snaps or weird creaks. The next day my hips

a museum of pain: little wooden stocks lock the femur

into bent positions, the Heretic’s Fork prick the pubis bone.

The days have names: Light, Heavy, Spotting.


I pray to the Period Goddess to please let me go,

release me from her punishing grip—her forearm

locked tight around my uterus. How strange

to want part of my body to stop its work—

Dear Uterus, you’ve done enough, retire soon.

I hold a funeral for my ovaries, place two

stones in a box, nestle then in newly dug dirt.

But the cramps still trample on my pelvic ground.

Carol Berg
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