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When I menstruate.
My breasts hang stretched, brush the ground,
Hands under shoulders, knees under hips
I drag me through the hours.

My hair goes unwashed.
I can smell you.
My skin is scented with sweat,
no, not like a child at play;
An old fishwife, ripe with the sea.

My clothes are stained and old, too large.
My cheeks gaunt and my eyes staring.
Thin limbs stagger to move this belly.

I reach down to the wound
Return with a fistful.

Sigils in blood, I paint on my thighs, and
belly-guards to ward demons out of my womb

I can hear you whisper to yourself
Unclean, unfit, unclear, unready.
I can hear you.

I can see the heat of your approach
change the density of the air.
Strands billow, like oil, like smoke, a
drop of red ink in a water glass.

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