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Content Warning: blood, menstruation, fertility, dark themes

Helen Gwyn Jones - A WAKE OF BLEEDING HEARTS.jpg

Madeleine Goode – Metamorphosis

Today, Moon,

or was it Doctor,

took her silver hands

and squeezed my useless womb

until something came out.

It is three years since

I last felt her change me.

Tonight I lie, naked, full

of the old friendly pain

and let it disarm

the body I grew

to love. Blood eats

its way through the sheets:

down goes the ooze

into the mattress, clots

the feathers, trickles

‘round the slats and

drips, black

into the dark space

under my writhing shape.

Soon my downstairs neighbour

will wake to a sound:

Is the kitchen sink leaking?

No, Mrs. Callaghan, it is my

menstrual return, the

the grand reopening

of my body’s best function.

Doctor, or was it Moon, said,

It’s good to bleed, it’s right,

so I’ve made the decision

to go with the flow, not

to clean up my mess; I’ll

bleed through every surface

in the North West

seeing as it’s right. She’ll

shriek, tonight, Why ruin

what isn’t yours? My body

is incapable of ruination,

thank you very much, Mrs.

Callaghan. My body is

becoming the world again.

Moon, or was it Doctor, says

pain brings you closer to God,

so that red sea gushing

through your ceiling is no

concern of mine; I am

God’s problem now. Fertility

has possessed me—bless you,

Doctor! bless you, Moon!—so

hide your children

in case they aren’t prepared,

plus if you weren’t aware,

your husband’s not in bed.

He smelled me a mile off,

Mrs. Callaghan, stumbling home

from a night on the ship;

he’s sprinting blood-lustful

on the scent, but from how

the moonlight falls I cannot tell

in which direction he runs.

Madeleine Goode (she/her) was born in Paris and raised in Manchester, UK. She works in financial services and writes poetry at night. Her poetry has been published in The Everyday Magazine and Madwomxn Magazine. She can be found on Twitter and Instagram at @goodegracious.

Artwork: A Wake of Bleeding Hearts by Helen Gwyn Jones

Helen Gwyn Jones (she/her) started recording her world at the age of 8 when she bought a Brownie camera from her sister, something which has become a lifelong passion. A collector of the past (hers and other people’s) she likes nothing better than muted images of imperfection.  May be found poring over Welsh grammar books when not photographing drains or going into raptures over rust. Recent publications include Hungry Ghost Project, Free Flash Fiction, Acropolis Journal, Paddler Press, Blink-Ink, Hecate, Pareidolia, Moss Puppy, The Levatio, Camas, Subliminal, Terse Instagram: @helengwynjones Twitter: @helengwynjones Facebook: Helen Gwyn Jones Photographic Artist

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