I was drinking a bottle of red wine tonight
Thinking about the first time I got my period
Hid it from my mom
In that church bathroom with the sticky sepulcher’s walls
And a friend who said Pantene made her hair shiny
And told me the blood coming out was good
It’s a really good thing
Just put toilet paper in your underwear until you get home
Then ask your mom

My mom didn’t say anything but
Don’t shave your legs
And also don’t shave your armpits
And also don’t wear that makeup
Because you’re not old enough for it yet

So I went to my brother and said
Look
Look
Look, I have hard round fat globs in my chest
I think my boobs are coming in
He laughed
I didn’t tell my mom

And the first time I wore a tampon
It was downstairs in the little bathroom beside our garage
I remember because that’s the
Bathroom my brother got the shits in
After long-boarding home from his girlfriend’s
When he was too embarrassed to shit there
Sort of like a safe space
I think it was my safe space
For when I put the tampon in, too far out
So my little vagina was sore
And I felt embarrassed

My mom had no idea

Years passing by and expensive packs later
Tampax, as they call it
Was not the one I chose because
My mom’s brand
Was Playtex Sport

The women on T.V. always danced around

In white skirts with tennis happening
Or on a bike seat
Like I don’t feel like doing that girl
I am rolling around and suddenly looking up
And seeing my two younger sisters aging
Maturing
Coming of age or whatever that malapropism presents as
Nowadays

They asked me how to wear a tampon
I told them slowly the instructions
The plastic and the little pinch of pain
And how it would soak things
And what to do when you sneeze
Like a slippery sticky something
Would slowly slither stealthily
Sex though!

Oh sex was out of the question
Because you’re not married, right

I was drinking wine tonight thinking about
How my mom couldn’t show me
How to shave my legs
She could’ve shown me everything
Help the tampon story go down smoother
Help the armpits become a natural phenomenon
The periphery of my vision, blurred but coming into focus
Puberty coming, bills piling
Smiling Christians wondering

If the wine I was drinking tonight was
Communion wine
Or if I was just fucking ranting
About my mom’s disingenuous mannerisms
And abstinent thinking.

The Writer: Needs water to survive. Writes mostly when feeling very heavy and intense emotions. Enjoys prepositional phrases. Incomplete sentences. Travels a lot. Loves with a magnitude of a thousand suns. Sometimes drinks coffee but prefers espresso. Used to collect money around the house and call them alms for the poor. Has seen snow, rainbows, hurricanes, sunshine, and other sorts of weather phenomenon. Still impressed by them all. – Amanda

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