When I was twelve, I thought I was dying

“pre-adolescent, bleeds to death,”

Crimson-stained, battle-scarred knickers

Sat in the comfort of the toilet cubicle

stuffing DIY bandages in the now-nappy of my



The unspoken word, the insult; euphemism

(‘time of the month, love?’)

Hidden parcel of embarrassment amongst groceries;

Scanning the over-priced assistance that

replaces pay-day luxuries


Infused bed sheets; a bath of

stained scarlett (tears) or

gaining five pounds

‘letting the painters in’ as they

decorate my patience with distasteful red


Mummy swore she’d tell me when

I grew up why my lingerie was laced

with clotted colour

as my stomach’s lining ached with

Future Fertility




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