Learning to Wash Up

I woke early to my first blood:
A thimble’s worth of red
spilled from my root.

Up the cramped stairwell
to the kitchen I climbed,
damp underpants in my fist.

At the top of the stairs,
my mother, her dishrag still warm,
gave a nod and a whisper: Alright.

The line of her hand
on the faucet was clean,
pointing to the future

with a minimum of fuss:
“the water must be very cold.”

When the sink was full,
my blood cotton stone
trailed dark sap in ice water.

The sun was glass,
a crisp glare on tile.
The early hour

was a china blue cup,
just poured out,
drying on the window sill.

Sara Biggs Chaney received her Ph.D. in English in 2008 and currently teaches first-year writing at Dartmouth’s Institute for Writing and Rhetoric. Her first chapbook, Precipice Fruit, was released by ELJ Publications in October, 2013 and her second chapbook, Ann Coulter’s Letter to the Young Poets, is forthcoming from dancing girl press summer 2014. Sara’s poems and flash fictions have recently appeared (or will soon appear) in Word Riot, SunDog Lit, Menacing Hedge, Whiskeypaper, and other places. You can catch up with Sara at her blog: sarabiggschaney.blogspot.com.

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One Response to One Poem from Sara Biggs Chaney

  1. Antonello says:

    in March while photographing the fulbuoas Tonya and Daunte’s Uptown wedding, I had the pleasure of meeting super sweet bridesmaid, Shalisa. Throughout the day not only was she

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