The Period in Puberty by Jumoke Verissimo

You want to know how it is with me brother after I saw the blood
You want to know if my breast wears down my chest when I breathe,
How the soft heaving settle to carry the burden of every of my sighs.
You want to know if sometimes I feel like I could do better as you
Subtracting me. How would I feel to scatter my legs like the branches
Of the palm tree all the days of the month without fear of a leak?

The trick is not to know if the month is a day or a year
The day passes too quickly for the one who becomes a woman
The gaze, the voices, the fear, and the dreams – all race ahead.

My skin is a stage in mutual disagreement with maturating
In time I’ve learnt that beauty is a ploy on my ambivalence
But do you really have to care what it is to be me or nought
You tried to imagine me as a kid again with tomato sauce squished
On my panties, while we laughed spilling over like fallen branches
Hanging down a fence. Don’t laugh: the tomatoes became blood.
There were indeed days I felt like the fillings in a moi-moi
Do you ever consider what’s like for an egg to be cut in half?
Some days I can tell you the many moods of the colour red.

You ask: Do we have to become anything at all than what we want
Why do girls who just want to jump about get bloodied all the time?
All I’ve learnt even before your questions find a space to fill is that,
The period in puberty is to ask no question and just wait for blood.

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