Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Periodic Advice for Little Miriam

In the event that you get your first period
one day at school when you’re not expecting it,
which as I understand it (can I really understand, being
of the guilty male party that never has to go through it
himself?) is the one of the great horrors of a young
girl’s life, more terrifying than Steven King’s It
or your chunky, snot-dripping older brother who pulls your
hair and maliciously rips the heads off of your dolls
while you’re at piano lessons, and a little red spot
becomes an incriminating red blotch, swollen and sticky
on your jeans causing you to spring
up from your desk like a toad on fire and break
out of the classroom past a muted collage of finger-pointing
and laughter from the boys who always shoot you with
spitballs during homeroom, down the graveyard hallway abandoned
except by the slapping of your shoes against the cold floor,
towards the bathroom where you will cry for twenty minutes before someone
comes looking for you, feel free to return
with a pocket knife and slice off the tips
of their unused penises.

See if they find it as funny when they’re the ones
running gasping screaming bleeding towards the door.
The shock on their faces and the gargled shrieks that wobble
from their lips will make almost as perfect a memory photograph
as the smiles that hung on their mouths when it was you
that was confused and lost and dripping.
As the room empties and your teacher looks on in horror (perhaps
a little less horror if your teacher happens to be a she) stand proudly
with your hands on your child-bearing hips and let the small
stain of “you are here” show that you have arrived.
Also, pray that the judge is a woman too.

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