This piece explores the under-discussed topic of period poverty.
They shed tears like they shed blood apologetically saltwater sweater cuffs tucked around thumbs mascara marks make up the crime scene They shed blood like they shed tears silently shaking hands placed over tender stomachs bloodstained sheets behind yellow tape They shed tears like they shed blood hoping it won’t incriminate them feeling false in their fragility a body out of step with its soul They shed blood like they shed tears like they shed skin paying for a service they can’t refuse some days, the pavement is more forgiving They shed tears like they shed blood in the dark far from possible witness wondering how the breath keeps coming They shed blood like they shed tears in tiled safety far from piercing prosecution wondering how the body heals itself They shed blood, they shed tears tissues too far out of reach catching evidence of their humanity in their hands
I wrote this piece in the summer of 2021 as a commentary on the injustice faced by people who menstruate. When bringing it to my mentor, she encouraged me to implement the issue of period poverty. As we prepped this piece for my college portfolio, we worked to strengthen the comparison of periods and tears to crime.
Anaís Fernández is a second-year Girls Write Now mentee and a high school senior currently applying to college creative writing programs. When she is not writing poetry, prose or random snippets living in her head, she is making music, acting or reading. If she had to eat one thing for the rest of her life, it would be rice.