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Womanhood

when did i become a woman.
it was not when blood
fell from my womb
for the first time
the fifth time
the umpteenth time
staining my underwear,
my clothes,
my bed,
the chair,
covering me in shame.
it was not when blood
blossomed bright
on toilet paper
after he was done crashing into me
in the backseat i will come
to think of as a memorial
i want to rip out and set on fire
to desecrate the site
of his hit and run.
it was not when blood
red lipstick became
my new favorite weapon,
carefully applied
to accentuate
teeth that learned to bite.
highlighting a mouth
that would lure you in.
devour you.
and puke out your remains.
i think.
i think
i became a woman
when i found the grace
to fall in love with who i am.
when sorry
began to taste bitter
on my tongue.
when screaming
my pain and joy
was the only
way to heal.
to survive.
to live.
that.
was my becoming