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'Bloom by Kate Potts pops with alliteration like: Blood-black clots, womb ends, blossom and stain. It makes surprising leaps as an ode to menstruation that is at one celebration, praise and blessing.' - Malika Booker, 2019 Women's Poetry Competition Judge




After Magda Cordell’s ‘No. 12’


And I think of all of the times I’ve emptied
myself – blood-black clots, womb ends,
blossom and stain – into the bowl
or splotched onto white porcelain and tile or
pristine towels, pine boards or intricate
patterned rugs; discarded myself in dark water.


The night gran dies, asleep in a borrowed bed
with my sisters, I soak through
and through everything, sticky and damp
in my aunt’s clean sheets. I leak
and spill, terrible, my thighs like steaks,
my womb, my cunt, a pulsing grief.  


I think of Marie and the dinner party at her
ex-lover’s: white table linen, snow-white linen
covering each high-backed chair; his beautiful,
warm-eyed wife and the silky, melting lamb
in the slow-cooked stew. The wine like
linden blossom, or Mediterranean beach.


The conversation’s syncopation, gallant pauses,
kindness. Through the French windows,
Marie watches the garden begin to throb
with crickets in bottle-green dusk. At the end,
when she lifts herself to her feet, her womb
empties its bloody cargo onto the white
in one swift whoosh: bloody rift in the night’s
surface. Beautiful, brazen bloom.


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