Electra’s Time of Month


Like a nymph I lie in this dimming bedroom,

a fish sunning itself over rocks,

out of view of the neighbor boy

who always stole a glimpse of my softness

as I washed myself before breakfast.

It comes suddenly, it streams in rivers

over the floorboards,

dark as poppies, red as wine.

Father had counseled me about this time,

reassured me with mint & warm compresses,

until from the Trojan War

they brought him down, sung his body full of knives,

the dance of the dead.

Brother, come with me, I will wash you in this blood

for purity, and we will avenge this deed.

This dark angel of our mother,

who ended our history

as quickly as it began.