To be or not to be –

Woman

The broken knob on the washing machine, the wrrr-wrrr-wrrr sound when it won’t open and your clothes are locked inside, your period coming too early, your period not coming at all, having a period, three missed phone-calls, phone calls giving you anxiety, anxiety giving you anxiety, needing to shave your legs, not really needing to shave your legs, being told you need to shave your legs, bad dreams, no dreams at all, hard to fall asleep, harder to wake up, bed sheets stained with that damn period blood, the washing machine is broken, you sleep wet tonight –

or

the cold, hard smell of a funeral, overturned earth, maggots like microwave spaghetti under your shoes, people you never knew loving you suddenly, passionately, people saying you look beautiful,
your body
cold and hard
and hairless

back to the broken knob, calling someone to fix it, the comforting wrrr-wrrr-wrrr, laughing over bloody bed sheets, dark like a newborn, you sleep wet tonight –

Madeleine Gallo is currently a first year MA student at Wake Forest University. Her work has appeared in Susquehanna Review: Apprentice Writer, Fermata, Sun and Sandstone, Belle Reve Literary Journal, The Pylon, Sigma Tau Delta Review, Into the Void, Oyster River Pages, Litro, and Rattle. After graduation, she plans to pursue a PhD in Contemporary American Poetry.

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