Menstrual Pudding

I cut in bangs with the kitchen scissors.
Glancing at the open Chatelaine, Diane helps
trim the uneven pieces.
She opens a can of tomatoes and strains them over the hair
that has gathered in the damp of the sink.
Our hair is immaculate —of course it is.
Though still undressed, I stir a pot of warm tomatoes
in my garter stockings. Diane chops potatoes.
We eat the peelings for dinner and laugh at my jellied salad,
my first creation with the second-hand fish mould.
In the evening, Diane blots her lipstick with a newspaper
while I dust virgin powder onto my only unruly hair
like it’s talcum. I can fool anybody.
Putting on my party dress, I look at the bulges
only we can see: of stomach fat squeezed tight into my acrylic corset.
Di and I laugh because we think
my bullet bra is funny.
We’re young, but knowing there’s no god we still say a prayer
because I hope the jelly set.
When friends arrive with Pabst Blue Ribbon, they laugh
at my framed Kotex ad
and I feed them jellied lime salad, finger sandwiches,
and pudding.

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