First Blood / On the Crafting of the Cover
The first day blood fled from my insides
& rushed down my legs in exile. I was twelve.
My mom told me it was early. I didn’t know what
it was but I knew it was painful.
The day before, I had discovered
I was allergic to milk.
dat baby will hit yo head with a bottle
after drinking all the milk in seconds was how my family described me.
Everyone thought I would grow to be tall.
I’m only 5’3” & they seem slightly disappointed. Me too.
Looking back I think I lacked nourishment.
Milk was nourishing, until it wasn’t.
Then it became a toxin.
I’m young & knew nothing of this body
Other than sometimes things felt good until they didn’t & sometimes things
shed & it’s painful.
These lessons are important for me now. I still don’t drink milk & every day I
become better acquainted with pain. My great-aunt told me I could be anything I wanted to
I wondered if someday I could be a girl who didn’t bleed? I
wondered if someday I could also not be a girl?
I wondered if all girls bled. I knew my mom did, but
what about the other ones?
Online-forms, applications, people ask me about my gender.
I’m that girl who isn’t even a girl who no longer bleeds.
I am not like my mom who still does. I eat tiny white pills for breakfast and skip the
sugary fake ones so that I may skip my period. These pills were not made to make me feel at home in this way,
but they do.
But sometimes blood still comes through as if in defiance as if in an act
of rebellion. My body’s rebellion is two fold – will reject what I put in and reject parts
of me from within. A reminder that with this body my ability to control is minimal. A
reminder that with this body shedding is inevitable. A reminder that everyday I must
become better acquainted with pain.
On Crafting the Cover…