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.