My sister cried each month when she bled
splayed naked on the bathroom floor
vomiting; great heaves in the porcelain bowl
shaking violently—each vertebrae resounding
in snakelike shivers beneath ivory skin
expelling womanhood like it would kill her
not to, like she might crawl out of her flesh
a seizing spine lunging forth with the sick
escaping its sheath, stretching each disc
a tight, heavy arch popping and snapping
before lifting itself straight, erect
and breathing for
the first time
without lungs

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