Today I finished my book ‘Menses.’

I started it last November when I was sick with the worst flu I’ve ever experienced in my fucking life.

I had a fever for 10 days.

A headache that hummed in my head for 15 days.

Body aches as if I had been hit by a car.

I couldn’t taste anything for two months.

By the last month, I developed a cough that kept me up at night because I couldn’t lie down, or else the coughing would start up again.

I was immobile and feared death daily.

John was working, so I was alone and scared he’d come home to find a bloated corpse.

So I wrote out a will, and started bleeding.

At that moment, I decided to take the pain of bleeding and this new slow death and create something that spoke about the thoughts that crept up during this intense time.

I turned 40 that December.

Then, my body started doing strange things.

My dreams were so vivid.

My conversations with my mother and myself changed.

While John was at work, I did some blind contouring pen drawings of my uterus, and drew vaginas in watercolor.

Took weird painful nudes.

I also recreated (badly in ink and markers) my favorite painting of all time, “The Dream of the Fisherman’s Wife.”

The year ended, then 2020 started, and we all know the rest of the story.

But, a stranger thing happened.

First, I recovered.

I was sick from November 18th 2019 to February 17th 2020.

After recovering, quarantine started soon after, and then my period got weird.

I wondered how many other women were in as much pain as me and sure enough, it was the collective.

Women were bleeding painfully all over the globe.

So many complained about the amount of blood, and the excruciating pains unlike any other time they’d bled. They felt wicked and reminisced on things they shouldn’t—again, more so than before, it was thwarted. The blood was boiling.

So I wrote and wrote and bled and bled and I finally wrote my last poem today.

I wrote this last poem while I cried, looking back at this last year knowing things will never ever be the same ever again.

I have to be ok with that, and I am.


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