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It's messy, womanhood.
From the first scarlet peony blooming
on pristine white cotton, through
black and burgundy smudges on pillowcases
and dodgier stains below,
after a drunken girls-night-out
that somehow swept up boys
along the way. Animal magnetism
my comment, bitches in heat,
the judgemental, parental mutter.

The detritus of crumbled relationships -
shattered pride, sharper, more fragile than hearts,
a tower of tissues sodden with
snot and tears. Remnants of
shredded snapshots caught hiding
in the back of the sofa, to
start me weeping again, months later.

Hastily-rinsed daybreak basins,
crockery smashed in hyper-hormonal rage,
a waterfall-turned-lake between legs,
heralding shit, piss, projectile vomit,
and soul-wringing tenderness.

Confetti, still fluttering from that pretty
basque on our third anniversary,
belying my pledge to wear it constantly,
the lacy cups dampening and scratching sore nipples
as feeding time approaches;
and on one velvet shoulder, a tell-tale,
napisan-resistant sour-milk patch.

Max Factor murals, fridge gallery exhibits
colouring my warehouse-white space; sticky
organic additions to patterned carpet.

In the bathroom, a purple butterfly
perches on a cream towel, bearing
mute witness to the artificiality of auburn,
the actuality of grey. An array of arcane
brown-glass, capsule-filled stubby jars
and scented potions and unguents huddle
behind the mirror, congealing as their
promises painfully prove to be lies.

Shelves of my ladylike bungalow-for-one
groan with gaudy plaster ornaments,
grandchild-gifted, discordant and vulgar;
anti-macassars, crocheted doileys,
old-lady trappings, kindly meant:
dearer, perhaps, in its desperation, than all the rest -
this final earthly clutter before the cleansing flame.

Yes, it's messy, womanhood, and glorious -
a Jackson-Pollock, violent,
abstract mess -- a life.

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