“My inner is all outer; my belly is a balloon; in the middle of the night, my organs wrench down, compress
and twist in a vice; it churns; a quiet twittering beneath the rib, a slow rolling churn below the hip. Later I take lavender baths, spread my legs like bible pages, open my pelvic floor; I know there are women paying for eggs and over here I ovulate like clockwork; like clockwork; like clockwork I wake to the sharp scarring; like clockwork I grab at the chunk of my belly, try to displace the ache by digging my nails deeper and weeping.”
“The browser blinds me so I curl into the softness of myself; so I take a nap under my desk on the industrial carpet chosen for its ability to hide stains; so I wake up four hours later, eyes swollen, face throbbing, choking over an empty yogurt container; oh is this why my eyes cross; is this why cobwebs stretch across my lens; are these what I chased across the pink gingham currents laying in my adolescent bed; if light is heaven, let me sleep with the rest of the witches.”
Google: endometriosis and migraines
“When I was in elementary school I had night tremors. Every night I watched myself die. Sometimes my psyche would switch it up and I watched my mom die or my sister die--always women. My body’s betrayal is like geometry to me, conceptual and everywhere. One night I prayed to my mom’s god, begging and weeping, to make the nightmares stop--and they did for ten years. Now I try to find meaning in the earth, in sidewalk cracks, in drawing lavender baths. But I can never spell lavender right on the first try and I’m too tired to pray.”
MANDY MAY is a Baltimore MD based writer and designer. She earned her MFA in Creative Writing & Publishing Arts from the University of Baltimore and is currently working toward her Doctorate in Interaction & Information Design. She is the author of the poetry chapbook Magic: Moon Tides Sing Violet Petals (Babe Press) and co-curated Nasty: an anthology celebrating dark spirits (Babe Press). Her work can be found in Yes, Poetry; Ghost City Review; Moonchild Magazine; Breadcrumbs Magazine; The Light Ekphrastic; Baltimore Fishbowl; and elsewhere. She believes in ghosts, magic, and the splendor of a body failing. She has three cats.