Crossing

i arose at five, peeled
a banana and hung it above your
raising lids

you got your first menses when
the moon was waning       it was
critical to rerun
your growth as the moon
carved itself away
into a fingernail

like the one you used last night
to dig deep the layers of your left arm
and excavate your father’s remains
       last night, when shed blood meant triumph

i wanted to show you when blood really meant triumph,
how both your mother’s and your father’s inside you
mean triumph because
       you are so magnificently beautiful

beneath the glow of this peeled waning moon
beneath the shift and slide of uterus walls
beneath slit abdomen and abnormal men

my too tightly pressed coal,
my thunder struck sand,
my moving breath, foreign to warmth

my thousand reflections of me

the sun does not have to rise just yet,
we’re going to harness this darkness
for 14 more minutes we’ll savor

our womanhood, when we once bore it
like a bad smell,       (i started crossing
my legs at 4
) our insides,

once Gehenna and Paradise; how it hurt
to burn and bare and bear humanity.

(i started crossing my legs at 4,
crossing the self in prayer,
crossing the self for salvation,
crossing the self to deny
shelter to the Devil
)

i saw the Devil anyways
           but did not bleed
and now, here we are
and the sun rises

i’ll savor my womanhood, we’ll savor
our womanhood,
and the sun rises
and you are brilliant
       beneath the glow

– Stephanie Ambroise

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