Persephone’s Menarche

by Maria Gray 

With lines from Madeline Miller’s Circe

I am no longer a stranger
to myself. We carry the things
we survive. Clapping away the silence
like mosquitoes. Even endlings

call for mates. Lord, protect me
from what I want. This new,
flawed body, grown from graft.
I cut myself from the root that year,  

left the lights on while I slept.
I shot the brain from my head
but the memory remained. And still
I lived, if only out of spite.  

Mother, forgive me. I concede
I have sinned. They ran away
with the meat of me, body
a burning barn, animals inside.  

I have not moved for all these years.
This is the fabled blood that turns a girl
into a woman. I lift the steaming bowl
to my cracked lips and drink. 

About the Author:

Maria Gray is a junior at Bates College where she studies Creative Writing. Her poetry is published in or forthcoming from The Lumiere Review, SICK Magazine, Antinarrative Zine, COUNTERCLOCK Journal, and others.

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